Shutter speeds and blurry people : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Wonder if anyone can help?

I'm shooting some interiors, and want to get shots where people are moving through the space, and appear somewhat blurred, while still remaining identifable as people. Any idea what sort of shutter speeds will do this, without me wasting a bunch of film experimenting? At least a ballpark speed.


Tim A

-- tim atherton (, September 06, 2000


1/2 - 1/8 sec.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, September 06, 2000.

Earlier this year I shot several rolls of film on my 35mm camera to work out the best shutter speeds to obtain various degrees of blurring for moving objects.

The degree of blurring is primarily affected by the shutter speed but subject distance and the focal length of the lens do have a very significant effect (of course so does the speed of the subject). To obtain obvious blurring of distant moving objects with a wideangle lens requires a surprisingly long shutter speed - sometimes 1/2 second or longer. However, close moving objects shot using a longer focal length lens can be obviously blurred at 1/125 second. For the type of interior shots you are planning, presumably with a wide lens, I would start off by trying a 1/4 second exposure (equating to about 9 inches of subject movement at normal walking speed). This is one of those situations where a Polaroid back is helpful.

From an artistic point of view I personally feel that blurring should either be fairly obvious or not present at all. Slight blurring often looks like sloppy technique.

-- Philip Y Graham (, September 06, 2000.

The above will likely suit your specific need but just to say something more, I regularly shoot indoors and sometimes people are there occupied in their activities and I have to do with it. Pauses in available light can take from 15 to 180 secs or sometimes more. The results are sometimes interesting as you can see how people moved, where they stayed longer and so on. This is quite unpredictable, but could very well be directed to obtain special effects. Some flash blows can freeze the people and you can have the same people in different settings on the picture, or a clear image and a blurred one superimposed. Some use neutral density filters and long exposures to make a place normally crowded appear empty.

-- Paul Schilliger (, September 06, 2000.

just use about 1/25th, or something around there.u must use a tripod though because camera shake will occur.

-- matt derrick (, February 12, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ