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! 

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  • Free Desktop Calendar Wallpaper: Kinkakuji - The Golden Temple of Kyoto Japan

    Free desktop calendar wallpaper for October 2009, Kinkakuji The Golden Temple of Kyoto Japan

    Jason Collin Photography is offering the image "Kinkakuji - The Golden Temple of Kyoto Japan" as a free* desktop wallpaper calendar. If you use it as your desktop wallpaper, please let me know in the comments.






    This image was made in Kyoto, Japan over New Years 2009.  We made sure we arrived just as the temple grounds opened at 9am, that way beating the crowd allowing me to photograph Kinkakuji in relative peace.  Also, the temple faces east, so the morning is the best chance to get sunlight to reflect off of the temple and heighten its gold look.  I was lucky in that there was a significant break in the clouds for me when I was shooting the temple.  As we left an hour later, clouds had completely taken over and anyone making a photograph of Kinkakuji then would not be shooting it at its full golden glow.  I felt lucky.

    * All desktop wallpapers are provided without any technical support.  All images are Copyright Jason Collin Photography, All Rights Reserved.  Removing the watermark by digital alteration or cropping is prohibited.  You are granted a single use, non-exclusive, perpetual license to install this wallpaper on any personal computer personally owned by you. This license grants you the right to use the wallpaper for non-commercial/personal use only. You may not re-sell, distribute, print or otherwise publish the image without the express written consent of the Copyright owner: Jason Collin Photography

    Photo Story: Asakusa Souvenir Stands

    The best place to buy souvenirs in Tokyo is Asakusa

    I would guess the number of foreign tourists and residents that visit Asakusa is near 100%.  One can find souvenirs and gifts covering the full range of Japanese culture from paper fans, to lacquerware, to katana, to real kimonos.  If you are a foreign resident of Tokyo, if you have any Japanese friends, one of the first places they will take you is Asakusa.  Likewise, if you are a longtime foreign resident of Tokyo and you have friends or family visit you from abroad, no doubt you will in turn take them to Asakusa.  This is how it worked for me.