Lawn Angels: Blurring and Freezing Motion in Photos


I set out to take two contrasting photos in order to visually demonstrate the effect different shutterspeed settings will have on your photos. Check it out! I got a shot that reminds me of snow angels! The shot above was taken at very slow shutterspeed (1/6 second), so the action is blurred. Most of the time when we take a shot that’s blurry, we delete it. Right? But take a second look. Sometimes there’s a story or an emotion that’s told because of the blur! My lawn angel spun until she was dizzy while I snapped away on the deck that gave me more of a “bird’s eye” view. The elevated position also allowed me to keep the lush green grass as a backdrop and eliminate from the shot the distracting cars and more in front of the house. I set my camera to aperture priority and selected a small aperture (f/18) and lowered the ISO to 200. These settings ensured that I would get a slow shutterspeed and blur the action.

The contrasting shot above turns my angel into a statue, yet there is still a joy about the image since you can clearly see her face. But I may have to tell you that she was spinning or you might think she’s just breaking out into song or feeling the breeze. But whatever story you put to the image, it’s still joyous. To freeze the action, I moved the settings to the opposite end: the aperture was changed to the widest opening I could select (F/6.3) and I raised the ISO to 800. This ensured that I would get a faster shutterspeed of 1/200 sec.
So slow down a bit, literally, by capturing the movement in your active kids! Summer is the perfect time to try-jumping into and out of the pool, racing in the yard, playing jump rope, simply jumping, sliding into home plate, and so much more. And don’t delete the shots off your camera. Download them and take a closer look. You might be surprised at what you get. (PS-I am working on freebie cards for basic photo tips, so keep a look out for those).

13 thoughts on “Lawn Angels: Blurring and Freezing Motion in Photos

  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! I’m happy to have found yours since it is one of my favorite subjects. What kind of camera do you use?

  2. I have a Nikon D90 with a Tamron 18-270mm zoom. What camera are you using? Did you take the pictures of your son and his bride at their wedding that you posted? Let me know if you have any specific photography questions and I’ll try to answer.

  3. Yes, there is a joy in the 2nd photo as well as the first. I actually like the 2nd one better because you can see her face and she looks very relaxed and happy.

    Thanks for the phototaking tips!

    ~Nita (MBC 100)

  4. Wow! What fun pictures! I’m a digital camera gal (and not a fancy one), but I love the sports setting that takes several pictures in rapid succession. My fave is one I took of my daughter being thrown in the air. She looks like she’s flying.

    I’m following your blog from the MBC Under 100 Club. I look forward to reading more!

  5. Thank you for visiting me and taking the time to leave a comment. I love your blog, you are a wonderful photographer.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Hey! I found your blog on Mom Bloggers club so just thought I’d stop by and check it out since I’m a photog myself. Love your pics, and very useful tips. Feel free to check mine out (although not updated much) too ( Thanks for sharing:)

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