About Me

My photo

I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Blurry models

As I mentioned on Tuesday, one of the main times I sit and wait for people to walk into my picture is when I'm using the telephoto lens.

I'm often focussed on something a long way away and it would be impossible for me to get into the frame after setting the self-timer off.

Take this image here. It was taken at the Daintree Discovery Centre which has this amazing walkway through the canopy of World Heritage rainforest.

I took this shot from high up an observation tower, pointing a telephoto lens down below and waiting for people to walk along the path. I was up there for a couple of reasons. Firstly a telephoto lens compresses the already thick rainforest making it look really impenetrable so I needed to be a long way away to get that viewpoint. Secondly it's quite dark in the rainforest and you need to use quite slow shutter speeds and a tripod. People stomping along the walkway makes it vibrate like you wouldn't believe rendering a tripod useless so I couldn't be on the walkway with a wide angle lens or else I'd have a blurry photo.

But a slow shutter speed is what I wanted for another reason. A technique I often use when letting people wander into my frame is to deliberately slow that shutter down so any moving people are blurred.

The main reason I do this is to give my unsuspecting models a sense of anonymity. As I have said on many an occasion, I always like to let people know I'm photographing them. It helps me build a sense of rapport with my portrait subjects. But when people are just props for my landscape shots it's not always possible to let them know. So in order to give them some privacy I tend to blur them.

No comments: