Drag The Shutter – Back On The Merry-Go-Round

Canon AE-1, 50mm f/1.4 FD SSC, Kodak Portra 400

Canon AE-1, 50mm f/1.4 FD SSC, Kodak Portra 400

I have seen countless definitions of what this phrase has meant over the years in photography. Of course, now, in the digital era, this is a technique few are willing to try, as they have been incorrectly taught that all images need to be “tack sharp”, with no noice or bluriness. By photographing a fast moving image, at a show shutter speed, while panning the camera, you can create a combination of blur and sharpness that conveys movement, and as seen here, on the merry-go-round near Boston Common, pure joy as well.

I love the color contrast here. The slow shutter speed of 1/30th/sec. seems to do something to the saturation.

I love the color contrast here. The slow shutter speed of 1/30th/sec. seems to do something to the saturation.

I used this technique at a road race a few years back, with my Nikon D40. While an unintentional effect, I was reaching into the bag quickly, not even realizing I had the camera set at a slower shutter speed. Expecting total blur, I was pleased to discover the shot captured motion, with that quite pleasing look of blur and sharpness.

Maybe I could have used a faster shutter speed- but I don't think it would have yielded these results.

Maybe I could have used a faster shutter speed- but I don’t think it would have yielded these results.

I love the way the mother’s smile shines here. The shutter priority mode of the AE-1 is perfect for these types of shots. Mix it up a little. They don’t always need to be tack sharp.

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