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Get some books on photography.
There are 3 variables to consider in digital photography;
Shutter speed, F-stops and ISO. To reduce motion blur, the best way is to increase your shutter speed.
Come up for air and get those pixels off the autopsy table.
Take some photos, adjust some variables, take some more photos.
Obsessing at such a granular level will lead you away from actually taking any photos, or at least any photos that will feel proud of.
We all crave the excitement of taking a great photo.
But they ultimately depend more on heart than cold logic.
December 23, 2011
I thank you and agree. Inspite of my photography books and the multitude of programs/features provided on digital cameras, the basics of shutter speed, aperture, ISO and focus are the imperatives. Experience and preferences (I carry my camera everywhere, with the intention and hope of a great photograph.) with these, in the various situations of motion and lighting, determines the technical result of the photo. Hopefully, the heart works in unison with the technical. I agree that photography is an expression from the eyes of the heart.
However, printing a 20x30 instead of a 4x6 will allow details to be seen and, even, to be prominent. Tossing a lousy 4x6 print is far different than disposing of a 20x30 print. For the case of portraits, one considers overlapping lighting, backlight, highlights, critical focus (i.e. shallow depth of field), posture and details of the facial structure. I am not intending a thesis on the subject but it seems reasonable to understand the elements of motion and blurr.
I thank you for your words and take them to heart. I'll keep the eyes of my heart open but the Mechanical Engineer in me will seek the rudimentary factors and aspects of motion/blur. In fact, the engineer rather enjoys the art and beauty of photography!
In additon to what Bo said you also need to consider the speed of the object across the field of vision and its distance. Which in effect is really the speed object travels across the sensor. So if you move the camera in the direction of the motion the subject will be in shaper focus and the backbround a little blurry. Only experience can show you how to do this.
If taking pictures with flash most cameras above the mid range offer a couple of different options to sync flash and shutter travel, like rear curtain sync.
Sometimes blur enhances the effect wanted if it is controlled.
I would imagine it would also make a difference what type of shutter is used - vertical, horizontal, or leaf.
I know you mentioned motion (subject) blur. But camera blur, if you are shooting handheld can also be an issue.
In your example of portraits in a controlled setting like a studio, I'm sure you will be using a tripod.
If you are taking landscape or other outdoor shots, a tripod will help a lot with camera blur (but not motion [subject] blur)
VR vibration reduction/IS image stabilization can only do so much.
For creating 20x30 print, a camera with a higher pixel count and also a larger sensor will help a lot. I'm assuming you are using a DSLR?
Another issue like using a higher quality lens (unfortunately much higher price) will also help.
A couple of techniques that the Mechanical Engineer in you might also be interested in are:
- Gigapixel type method where you stitch together a mosaic of many images. You can have incredible image detail because instead of using one image at say, 12 MP. you stitch together, for example 30 -12 MP images and you end up with a single image that is closer to 360 MP
- Focus Stacking when you take several different shots of the same subject with each shot having a different point of focus in the image. You can combine these in Photoshop to create an image where all areas of the final image are in focus.
The Gigapixel method generally requires additional equipment, but the Focus Stacking method only needs a tripod.
However, these above methods won't necessarily help with motion blur from a moving subject.
As for the difference of quality needed when printing a 20x30 rather than a 4 by 6, lens sharpness, absence of filters, or quality thereof, diffraction, sensor resolution, demosaicing algorithm are also parameters. It is almost a Photography class in itself, with numerous articles on the topic: http://www.google.com/search?q=photo%20sharpness&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
April 20, 2012
I thank you for your responses, as they are each quite helpful. Since our previous exchange, I've read articles concerning photo viewing and other interesting subjects.
I appreciate the need to take photographs, as opposed to book learning. The experience and knowledge from this is wonderful. However, unless one isolates to a particular subject or genre, the lessons of one subject are not neccessarily obvious in application to another, at least, in my thought pattern. For example, the motions of a race car, a crowd of people, an ocean wave and a gently waving blossom are similar but experience with one does not easily apply to the others.
My interest is to find the commonality of subject motion and be able to apply it to photography. In a simplified approach, I think that I accomplished this. Because I do not see how to attach a pdf file to this post, the file is not attached. IF you are interested, you may find it on my web site home page http://envisioningmoore.com. I would appreciate feed back concerning the solution.
I thank you all.
You've gone to a lot of work, but have completely neglected aperture and the ability to set a fast shutter and open up the f stop.
You are correct, in that I did not include aperture but I did include the shutter speed. If I were to include aperture, then I would have to include the ISO setting of the "film" and the lighting conditions. It is true that opening the aperture would increase the shutter speed, if all other factors are constant. The intent of my calculation was not to address the camera settings for a myriad of lighting conditions and camera/lens equipment combinations.
My intent was to determine if the motion of an object would be visible in a print. Motion, during that infinitesimal moment called shutter speed, is very important. Another way of stating this is,
"If my photographic intent is to stop all motion, then what shutter speed is required?"
I acknowledge that lighting conditions of the situation may not allow the desired shutter speed. Further, the ISO, the lens specifications, the camera body capabilities and other details will affect the achievable shutter speed.
However, my understanding the printed results of motion in a photograph can improve the taking of the photograph. This "detail" can make or break a photograph.