motion blur

Albuquerque Roller Derby Last Bout of 2018

Albuquerque Roller Derby Last Bout of 2018

Toughest action on 8 wheels!

I had the opportunity to photograph the last ABQ Roller Derby bout of the 2018 season due to my connection with Sonja Dewing who hosts 1 Million Cups and is also the owner of Plot Duckies. She invited me to photograph an upcoming bout which I gladly agreed to as I had never photographed a roller derby before! I did not, and still do not, know a single rule or strategy about roller derby, but by the second half I was starting to figure out when the best action takes place and where on the skating rink. I could not believe the collisions and how many times people get knocked right on their butts! You can see the action up close in the gallery below.

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1-on-1 Canon T3i DSLR Photography Lesson low light practice in Tampa Florida with Sara

Practicing low light photography in a parking garage in Tampa Florida with Sara and her Canon T3iFor the second Thursday morning in a row, I met Sara in downtown Tampa in Curtis Hixon Park.  Since our first lesson seven days ago, she has been practicing a lot and had some questions.  She found out that making photographs indoors is not as straight forward as it is out in broad daylight.  She showed me a few photo situations that were causing her trouble via sample shots still on her memory card.  I then told her of my default indoor settings of f/5.6 1/60th and ISO 800 and how that would have allowed her to get the kind of exposure she wanted, along with using flash too of course.  

Then to put this in practice we stepped out of the bright sunshine and into a parking garage that had as little ambient light as any home or event space gets.  First I showed Sara how to get acceptable results without flash by cranking the ISO up to 3200!  Next I had her use the built-in pop up flash which allowed for a more practical ISO of 800.  I do not recommend relying on the pop up flash, but it can make due until an external flash can be invested in.

We finished our time in the parking garage with a few fum motion blur shots by zooming in and out while we pressed the shutter (see above photo).

St. Raphael Festival Modern Midway Snell Isle Florida 2013

After 10 seconds, a swinging ship on a pendulum looks elliptical at St. Rafael Church Festival Snell Isle Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/16 ISO 200 10.5 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseEven though I merely observe, come the start of every October I find myself looking forward to the St. Raphael Festival that transforms a soccer field in the middle of a Snell Isle neighborhood into a carnival.  What really amazes me is how fast it comes and goes.  Sunday night at 8pm the festival is full of people on the rides.  By 9:30am Monday morning every ride is already packed up and loaded onto a truck.  It is only open for three days.  How fast it appears then disappears adds a lot to its mystery for me.  It just does not seem possible.

Of all rides, the ferris wheel holds the most nostalgia for me - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/16 ISO 200 2.3 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseAgain this year I did not go on a single ride.  I did, though, continue my custom of eating deep fried Oreos.  They warmed my insides for hours after.  

St. Raphael Festival in Snell Isle Florida is a mystical neighborhood carnival - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/16 ISO 200 1.4 sec tripod mounted with cable releaseWhere does the carnival go after it leaves Snell Isle?  I am very curious about that, but would not want to know the answer.  It occurred to me today that this could be its last stop of the year before winter, and that is why everyone packs up so quickly because vacation starts as soon as they finish.  As much as I like this annual visit, for many reasons I hope I am never here to see it again.

Lexus LFA #406 in St. Petersburg Florida Grand Prix Gala

Lexus LFA #406 in St. Petersburg Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 7-exposure HDR - see editing workflow for this shot belowI first saw this white Lexus LFA #406 at the Cars & Couture Tampa event last year, but it was roped off making it impossible to get any kind of usuable shot at that event.  Lucky for me it was shown again at the 2013 St. Petersburg Grand Prix Gala this time with no ropes.  Still, it was in the middle of a building lobby surrounded by people so to get usable shots I liked I had to be pretty creative with editing.  

Lexus LFA #406 St. Petersburg Florida car photography with added motion blur HDR image - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 7-exposure HDRUsually I have an idea of where I want to end up before I start editing a shot, or even before I push the shutter out in the field making the photograph in the first place.  This time I did not anticipate liking B&W better, nor adding digital blur (both Guassian and motion) to the shots.

Lexus LFA #406 at the St. Petersburg Florida Grand Prix Gala 2013 - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/8 ISO 200 7-exposure HDREvery shot was made from a 7-exposure HDR image and required a lot of color correction.  Shooting in RAW and auto white balance normally produces a very color accurate shot once in Aperture 3.  Not so this time as even after Aperture did its thinking on processing the RAW image it remained very yellow.  I heard people with point and shoot cameras complaining how yellow their shots were coming out too.  Standing in the space I did not notice that much warm lighting so I was surprised the RAW shot needed as much work as it did.  Below I show in four abbreviated steps my digital editing workflow starting with a single RAW file and ending with the final look I chose for the shot.  In all this initial workflow took about 45-minutes to finalize.  It was then faster to apply it to the other two images in this post since I knew what I wanted. 

1-on-1 Canon T1i DSLR Photography Lesson in St. Petersburg Florida with Jim

Jim with his Canon T1i flashing my business card leaning against his Mini John Cooper Works

Jim cashed in his photography lesson gift certificate he received for Christmas this past Saturday.  I met him in the usual downtown St. Petersburg Florida spot for a 1-on-1 DSLR photography lesson with his Canon T1i.  When I saw him pull up in his Mini Cooper, John Cooper Works edition, I thought it would be great to use as the background for the portrait I make of each student as a lesson bonus.  

We began the lesson with me showing Jim how to get around his Canon in manual mode, being able to adjust the 5 settings necessary to make a well exposed and sharp shot in any given shooting conditions.  From there we made our way around the beautiful downtown St. Petersburg waterfront shooting while I offered instructions simultaneously, which I believe is the best way to learn photography.  

We also talked about cars and I enjoyed hearing Jim's story about how he got to drive his friend's Ferrari!

St. Petersburg Florida Night Photography Lessons for tripod & 50mm lens

  • 1-on-1 photo lessons help you learn quickly
  • Every lesson is designed for your exact level
  • Learn to shoot at night in real conditions
  • Free social media sized digital portrait made of you by Jason
  • Lesson locations in St. Petersburg (others may require a fee)
  • 2-hour lessons available on weeknights starting at 6pm
CALL: 813-240-5357 E-mail: CONTACT FORM FACEBOOK



As the sun starts to set earlier, weekday evenings offer a fantastic opportunity to learn how to make photographs at night. 

Jason offers two types of night photography lessons:  using a tripod for long exposures & using a 50mm lens for low light. 

The 2-hour lessons are offered in the downtown St. Petersburg area on weeknights beginning from 6pm~ and feature 1-on-1 night photography instruction with Jason.  A DSLR is required along with either a tripod or a 50mm f/1.8 lens

Tripod rental is available. 

The lessons are open to any skill level, even total beginners!


Tripod night photography lessons will focus on how to make long exposures of the beautiful downtown St. Petersburg waterfront.  Using manual settings and bulb mode you will learn how to pull light out of the sky that the human eye cannot see.  Also, you can learn how to make light trail shots as cars streak past to create cool, urban shots.


You can use a 50mm f/1.8 (or f/1.4) lens at night without a flash to produce cool images featuring light bokeh, motion blur from passing cars and even night portraits!


 Lessons start at: 


Jason has taught over 300 one-on-one DSLR lessons!  - see blog


Jason has taught lessons to students with these DSLRs and more!

Nikon D4 Nikon D600 Nikon D700 Nikon D300s Nikon D7000 Nikon D90 Nikon D5100 Nikon D5000 Nikon D3000 Nikon D3100 Nikon D40

Canon 5D Mark III Canon 5D Mark II Canon 7D Canon 60D  Canon 50D Canon T4i Canon T3i Canon XSi Canon XTi Canon XT

Pentax K-R Pentax K-7

Sony A230 Sony A33

Olympus E-510

Jason also teaches how to edit digital photos on your own laptop - reserve now!


Daytime DSLR Photography Lessons also available on any subject more info

Motion blur for creating background interest - Japanese temple statue

Using a slow shutter speed to create motion blur in the background - Nikon D80 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/2.8 ISO 400 1/40thI made the photgraph above three and a half years ago, still early in my DSLR photography career while I was living in Tokyo, Japan.  I noticed the wind catching and spinning this fan around like crazy.  I knew I wanted to juxtapose the stillness of the statue with the manic motion of the fan.  To accomplish this I needed to set a shutter speed slow enough to blur the fan blades, but not too slow that I could not handhold the camera steady enough to keep the statue looking sharp.  

I found that 1/40th of a second shutter speed produced enough motion blur in the fan without camera shake causing overall image bluriness.  If I had a tripod with me it would have been a simpler shot to execute.  It was actually lucky that there was a lot of shadow in this part of the temple garden which allowed me to use f/2.8 to try and produce a little bokeh, even though I was using a wide angle lens.   

So this weekend my photography tip and homework assignment is to go out and see if you can find some background object to catch in motion blur while maintaining a sharp, in focus subject.  Put a link to your photos in the comments below! 

  • Read more photography tips
  • Reserve your own 1-on-1 DSLR Photography Lesson with Jason today!
  • Learn more about the lessons