Movement photography


Workshop with Simon Tomkinson

You can use movement as a genre in itself or as a tool inside a specific genre (documentary, fashion, etc)

-Edward Muybride – chrono-photography
-Henri Cartier-Bresson – about the decisive moment
-Robert Capa – blurring
-Sebastio Salgado – freezing
-Nick Knight – movement in fashion

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-DSLR camera
-lens with a speeding focus and wide width
-lighting kit (speedlight, Profoto B1 or B2, Broncolor Move or Score for top highlight range)
-a good stable and light tripod (Manfrotto)

FLASH How does it work ? (see great explanations)

Reminder :
Aperture controls foreground ; shutter speed controls background
In movement photography, there is Three ways to achieve your idea :


What shutter speed do you need to freeze the action? It depends on the action. Here’s a rough guide:
•1/60 second for a subject posing motionless
•1/125 second for a subject standing still but swaying
•1/250 second for a subject walking
•1/500 second (or faster) for fast movements (running, jumping)
Choose a fast shutter speed.
Zoom out : it will magnify and sharpen everything
Shoot when the action has paused : at the end of a movement or at the top of a jump, the subject is still which means less motion and less blur
Pan with the camera  : track the dancer’s movement (!) not being too fast or too slow, you need to be at the same pace.

What can you do to minimize camera shake?
-Image stabilization (in the lens or the camera)
-Take burst of images (at least one will be sharp)
-Shoot between breaths to reduce movement of your body
-Use a tripod or monopod

3. Combine the TWO
(!) overexposure
(!) color balance – continuous is redder ; flash is bluer, you might need to use filters to compensate color temperature. Always set up one light at a time with the continuous first ; set up the flash light to second curtain shutter
(!)ghost figures


The all purpose is to get THE moment !


Jacob Riis

Photographer, Social issues, street photography

Jacob Riis was a Danish-American social documentary photographer, one of the first to use flash in photography.

While living in New York, he experienced poverty and became a police reporter writing about the quality of life in the slums. He attempted to alleviate the bad living conditions of poor people by exposing their living conditions to the middle and upper classes. (source : wikipedia)