Freeze & Blur

By Kaden Stephens

This week, I went out and captured some photos of motion. Each photo shows my personal interpretation of motion and how we can view the world around us through a single image. For each of these photos, I had to learn the right balance between my camera’s light settings and the shutter speed I needed to catch specific movements. With a faster shutter speed, I was able to freeze motion. With a slower shutter speed, the motion in my images became blurred.   

Frozen Motion

VIBIN’ HAIR FLIP: 04/30/22, 1:00 pm, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, FL: 30mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec, Canon M50 II, Natural Lighting

A few of my friends and I went out to visit the St. Anthony Sand Dunes over the weekend. This particular photo is of my friend flipping her hair as the wind started to pick up. With a quick shutter speed, I was able to catch her hair being lifted in the wind.

BALL TOSS: 04/30/22, 12:45 pm, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, FL: 30mm, f/2.2, 1/1000 sec, Canon M50 II, Natural Lighting

As my friends and I continued walking around the sand dunes, one of us spotted an old tennis ball. My friend picked it up and began tossing it up and down. I managed to capture an image with the ball frozen in the air.

FALLING SAND: 04/30/22, 12:30 pm, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, FL: 35mm, f/5.0, 1/2000 sec, Canon M50 II, Natural Lighting

I decided to test out taking a close-up image of my other friend cupping the sand in his hands. This photo was able to capture the sand slowly sifting through his fingers.

Blurred Motion

A NIGHT AT THE GARDENS: 05/01/22, 9:00 pm, Thomas E. Ricks Gardens, FL: 38mm, f/5.6, 30 sec, Canon M50 II, Natural Lighting, Set camera on a rock

To catch blurred motion, I wanted to attempt taking photos while it was dark outside. This would allow me to slow the shutter speed as much as I needed in order to blur as much motion as possible. For this photo, I walked around the BYU-Idaho campus gardens after dark. To capture the image, I set my camera on a rock and left the shutter open for 30 seconds. This let in as much light as possible to reveal the moving water. Even though the setting was dark to the natural eye, the slow shutter speed was able to capture the image beautifully.

LOST: 04/30/22, 12:40 pm, St. Anthony Sand Dunes, FL: 15mm, f/22, 1/6 sec, Canon M50 II, Natural Lighting

Blurring motion during the day was a little more tricky. Blurred motion requires a slow shutter speed, but that leaves time for more light to enter your camera. To keep the light from flooding the camera as I took this photo, I raised the aperture and lowered the ISO. This particular image shows a purposeful blur of my friend’s face with a clearer focus on the empty background. I felt that this effect created a sense of disconnection between him and his surroundings, similar to the feeling of being lost.

FLOWING WATER: 05/01/22, 9:30 pm, Taylor Chapel, FL: 21mm, f/5.0, 8 sec, Canon M50 II, Campus Lights, Set camera on a rock

In addition to the other two frozen motion images that I caught, I wanted to capture a photo with an illuminated subject in the background. For this photo, I went in front of the Taylor Chapel where there are a few water features. This setting was different from the gardens as there was more synthetic light around both the foreground and the subject. To capture this photo, I climbed into the rocks and balanced my camera at an angle that I liked. With an 8-second shutter speed, I was able to capture both the blurred water and the illuminated subject.


kaden’s content