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 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.
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.