The Elusive Motion Blur

In the past two years I have taken around 18,000 images of horses on the beach, keeping over 13,000. I am in the process of weeding that down to a more manageable and useful number. But the one image that has eluded has been a really successful motion blur image.

I have tried a variety of techniques to get the image I am envisioning, but so far I have not been able to capture it in camera.  What I really want is an image where the background is a total blur of streaking colors, created by my panning motion, and the horse and rider are somewhat sharp and realistic looking.  I have tried shutter speeds ranging from ¼ sec to 1/60 sec but none give that effect. At the slower speeds I can blur the background as much as I want but the movement in the horses and riders render them too indistinctive. With the faster speeds I can get the horses and rider to look good but the background doesn’t blur enough.  Today I will post some examples taken between a 1/15th and 1/60th sec.  Tomorrow I will show you, via a video, how I created my ideal image using Photoshop.

_DWA5240b.jpg1/15 sec; f/10; exp comp -.67; ISO 100; 24mm


_DWA5112.jpg1/15 sec; f/6.3; exp comp -.67; ISO 100; 45mm


_DWA1915.jpg1/25 sec; f/16; ISO 100; 105 mm


_DWA1903-Edit.jpg1/25 sec; f/16; ISO 100; 105 mm


_DWA5310-Edit.jpg1/30 sec; f/10; Exp comp -.67 ISO 100; 42 mm


_DWA5298-Edit.jpg1/30 sec; f/10; Exp comp -.67; ISO 100; 42 mm


4900-170430-_DWA1189.jpg1/60 sec; f/5.6; Exp comp +.67; ISO 400; 85mm


_DWA5407.jpg1/60 sec; f/10; Exp comp -.67; ISO 250; 85mm