morning run

Zeiss 21mm f2.8 manual focus lens with B+W ND Vario filter

This is one of my favorite photos, not because of the lovely colors or the wonderful city backdrop, but because of the motion. I find motion in still photography to be one of the most challenging techniques, especially when the motion has to do with people. Traditionally, long exposure photography that captures motion is in a nature setting where the photographer places his camera on a tripod and then exposes the shot for 15-30 seconds so that water and clouds will take on that lovely smooth appearance we’ve all seen in those beautiful landscape images. Capturing motion with people requires a completely different skill set. You have a use a neutral density filter on your lens so that you can increase the exposure time without letting too much light in. You have to have your focus just right, which is quite difficult with moving subjects and manual focus lenses. You have to have the exposure just right or your subject will end up so blurry that you can tell it’s a person, or not blurry enough so that it only looks like the image is out of focus rather than in motion. You have to keep your camera VERY steady so as not to blur the background, which is quite difficult when you’re not using a tripod and shooting at f 1/10 or 1/20. And you have to do all of this in less than a second before your subject runs away and makes your shot impossible. The whole thing sounds like a big hassle, and while it does lead to quite a few messy photos, when you get it right the results make for really interesting and original photographs. Taken with a Zeiss 21mm f2.8 Distagon manual focus lens with a B+W XSPro ND Vario Filter, handheld at 1/30, Shutter Priority mode with vario filter adjustments to ensure an aperture of at least f/8.


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