School Fair


What would you guess for the shutter speed of this image?

The picture was taken at the Tokeneke School Fair here in Darien this past weekend. The cars on the merry-go-round were not going very fast. I did intentionally use a slow shutter speed to show some motion in the cars. If you could see the image in a larger size than the blog allows, you’d have a sense of even more motion blur on the two cars in front.  Notice that, while the nearby cars are blurred, the cars on the side and back are reasonably sharp. How did this happen? I used a fairly wide-angle lens and was much closer to cars in the foreground than it appears. So, their motion was much greater than the side and rear cars, on a relative basis. It’s sort of an optical illusion or perhaps a trick of physics.

I like the gaudy colors. I like the implied oval framing the image, with the track of the cars on the bottom and the edge of the umbrella on top. Even though you can’t see the kids’ faces, it’s easy to imagine they’re having fun on this ride, and indeed they were.

And the shutter speed. Would you guess a second? A half second?  The actual shutter speed was 1/15th of a second. But because I was so close in on the foreground cars, the blur results.

Photo Tip: Try different shutter speeds on action shots and see what the result is. The closer you are to a moving subject, the more blur you will see for a given shutter speed.


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