Quick photo tip: How to follow moving objects
For a long time, I believed there was a secret to getting the perfect moving shot. I was completely puzzled at how you could retain long-time exposure while moving. How can that work?
The answer is quite simple: trial and practice! There is no one perfect trick. Even the most experienced photographers produce a lot junk when taking a picture while moving. It’s completely normal to take 300 pictures and then bin 295 of them. Don’t let that get you down! Still, here’s some advice to get you started.
Advice for your first moving subject
Use the «s» setting. You’ll have to experiment before getting the perfect shutter speed. If it’s too short, the background won’t blur enough. If it’s too long, it’ll be next to impossible to get a clear shot of the subject. An optimal shutter speed depends on the speed and distance of the vehicle, of course.
Use serial shot mode. The more pictures you take, the higher the probability one of them wil be in focus. And the more movement patterns you have, the better.
Start moving before taking the picture and take it while you’re in motion. Most cameras don’t show a gapless image in the viewfinder while serial shot is active. Look through the viewfinder and move the camera before taking the picture. This will give you a feeling for the right tempo.
Make sure there’s enough background in frame. Even if the background will be blurry, it’s still important. It makes the image more atmospheric. The moving subject should therefore not be in frame too big or small.
Focus on the front part of the subject. A tram or train will never be fully in focus. Frame the picture in a way so that the vehicle moves towards not away from you.
Check if your sensor is clean. The aperture needs to be completely closed at shutter times around 1/10 of a second in order to not overexpose the image. This makes even the tiniest smudge on the sensor visible. Mirrorless cameras are especially vulnerable to sensor stains.