how to do proper motion blur?

slickhare

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so i've been having a lot of fun playing around with my new Olympus Evolt E-500 (and i hope to get my first set up here soon). but i've been having trouble doing proper motion blur. i set my camera up on a tripod in front of a mirror and did some simple motions like arm flapping. but every time i'd come out all ghostly and transparent. i changed the shutter speed several times but the same result. what am i doing wrong?
 

Big Mike

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slickhare said:
but every time i'd come out all ghostly and transparent.

That's motion blur...what did you think it would look like?

Maybe you were trying to have a sharp subject (you) with motion blur at the same time? That is achieved with a slow shutter speed and flash (often called dragging the shutter). The idea being that you actually have two exposures...one from the flash and one from ambient light. The flash is very quick...so that one will be sharp.

Now, most camera will fire the flash at the start of the exposure...so you will end up with a sharp image...with motion blur in front of the moving subject. This can look very weird.

To get more 'natural' looking motion blur, you have to use 2nd curtain sync, which fires the flash at the end of the exposure rather than at the start. Check you manual to see if you camera is capable of this.
 

Big Mike

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Another option would be to hold still for the first part of the exposure and then start moving.
 

Rob

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slickhare said:
so i've been having a lot of fun playing around with my new Olympus Evolt E-500 (and i hope to get my first set up here soon). but i've been having trouble doing proper motion blur. i set my camera up on a tripod in front of a mirror and did some simple motions like arm flapping. but every time i'd come out all ghostly and transparent. i changed the shutter speed several times but the same result. what am i doing wrong?

What do you expect it to look like? As Mike said, you'll go transparant as part of the exposure has you in it, and part has what's behind you.

Try waving some lights - that looks good!

Rob
 
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slickhare

slickhare

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first of all thanks for your help so far :D

but what i was doing was isolating one part of my body to move, i.e. my arms. so when i took the picture my whole body came out ghostly. i've seen the kind of motion blur i'm thinking of before somewhere. i'll have to get an example, but the second curtain sync sounds like it'll work.
 

markc

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Whatever moves blurs and can become ghostly, depending on how much you move it. If your body blurred, you must have been moving it while you were waving your arms. It's actually rather hard to move one part while keeping the rest still.
 

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