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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Motion Blur Photo Setup for Auto Ad
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06/01/2009 04:48:42 PM · #1
I have had several requests asking for more detail as to how my recent shot in Auto Ad I was set up and executed.
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I actually borrowed the idea from ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' senor_kasper and his excellent shot here:
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To prove to my wife that I am not completely crazy, I decided to shoot a few pictures of the set up that was used. And they can be found below.

I do not have a big fancy tripod or appropriate holding spots in the back seat (I have an old 1970s vintage Vivitar model tripod), so I would was a bit concerned about stability. But by tying the tripod in place I had no issues. I positioned the tripod with two legs completely extended into the foot wells of the backseat. The third leg I adjusted in height so that it was centered into the wedge of the seat.
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The tripod was tied onto the front seats using my best Boy Scouts knots with rope. I wrapped the rope a few times around the tripod shaft so as to anchor it into place and tied the ends onto the head rests. In the foot wells of the seat I wedged my two camera bags to provide additional insurance against flying camera gear...

I adjusted the height of the camera and position so that the horizon was about 80% up in the image. A remote shutter release was used so that I could take the shots (or I could have a passenger sit the back seat and press the shutter for me). If the driver is shooting the shots, I found that setting a 1 second delay so that I could drop/hide the remote worked well.
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The last view is one from the front - so you can see why I received all sorts of crazy looks from passing cars as I drove down the road with the camera with the big 12-24 lens hanging out...
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Regarding the shoot itself: Aperture mode was not very useful for this shoot. I found that the conditions of light kept changing so quickly that manual mode with preset exposure time and f-stop worked better. This required a bit of trial and error, but I was able to get the desired amount of blur with 1/4 second. It seems that the motion blur was better when the trees were closer to the road.

I also found that you really want to have even light (clouds or constant even shade) to really get this shot to work. Spots of sun on the road created undesirable effects - blotches etc. The colors were richer as well and I did not end up with any blown out areas.

For a comparison of the starting image to the finished product, this is a resized and unedited copy of the original exposure.
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I hope this was helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions. Cheers.
06/01/2009 04:51:59 PM · #2
I Laughed at the 'wife' statement!
Thanks so much for this neat learning tool
Debbi
06/02/2009 10:25:18 AM · #3
Thanks so much for the details. Now all you need is a yellow ribbon with a car-in-motion shot.

You could've just tied one of your son's legs to the car while standing in the back holding the camera. Of course with an extended seat/shoulder belt. That's what I would've done, but not everyone thinks like me.

NOTE: The last 2 sentences were written in a lighthearted joking mood. :-)
06/02/2009 10:44:20 AM · #4
Thanks for posting. Although I think you didn't use enough duct tape.
06/02/2009 10:46:15 AM · #5
Originally posted by tpbremer:

Thanks for posting. Although I think you didn't use enough duct tape.


I would agree with you - more duct tape is almost always better - but that silly glue really doesn't come off very easily, and my wife would have killed me for 'ruining' her car's interior...
06/04/2009 11:52:00 AM · #6
how fast were you going? i'm guessing that would have an impact on the desired exposure time.

thanks for sharing your setup though. good stuff!
06/04/2009 12:13:08 PM · #7
Originally posted by menx:

how fast were you going? i'm guessing that would have an impact on the desired exposure time.

thanks for sharing your setup though. good stuff!


I was driving between 30-40 mph. The road is pretty empty of traffic (good for clean shots without other cars) but there are a number of houses near the road and a fair number of twists in the road that make going very fast unwise.

Regarding the speed and it's impact on exposure time for the desired blurring, clearly you will get more blur with faster speed or longer exposure time. But I found that it is a balance of how long you can hold yourself steady in a car that is moving. I wanted my hands as steady as possible, and much more than 1/4 second exposure seemed to accentuate movement inside the car. Going faster would allow shorter exposure times. But, at 1/4 second I found that I had a good amount of blur on the sides and this was emphasized further by the fact that the trees were close to the road and the motion was more pronounced. If the trees and other objects had been further from the road, the effect of blur would be diminished.

I am glad the information was useful.
06/04/2009 02:39:48 PM · #8
So now get this written up into a proper tutorial so it'll be where folks can find it easily AND you can make some membership $ on it :)
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