Ep 86 How to photograph fast moving objects


When photographing fast-moving objects, we’re not just talking about conventional shots like race cars or athletes, where it’s vital to master shutter speed. You can also capture amazing fast-moving objects right your own home: water droplets, strawberries plunging into champagne, red wine swirling in a glass.

In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss how to create amazing fast-moving shots, different ways to capture these images, tricks to nailing what you want to achieve, gear designed for this purpose and simple MacGyver hacks if want to build the tools yourself. From coffee plops to dogs running to you at high speed – and much more – it’s covered here.

#ginachallenge #speed

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Show notes

Shout outs

Brian Becnel
“Sharing a bit of wonderful news I received over the weekend. A local editor of a major tourism publishing company (based in L.A.) found my image on Flickr. The editorial board reviewed several images and voted on mine as representative image for downtown Orlando. (The local editor shared my Facebook photography page with the Dir. of Photography, showing him the image is my ‘cover image’.)
“The Director of Photography reached out to offer a licensing agreement to use the image as the inside coverage image of the publication that will be placed in 23K hotel rooms throughout Orlando.
“I captured the image at the city-wide candlelight vigil following the Pulse attack. This vigil was attended by 50K people from all walks of life (gender, religion, orientation, age, etc.). So much good can come from so much pain.
“I can’t wait to get my hard copy of the tourist publication! (Lesson confirmed: use hashtags or tags (on Flickr) so your work can be discovered.)”

Above: Image by Brian Becnel
Above: Image by Brian Becnel

Ronald Fritz
“I’m very happy as one of my photos was the winner on the Image doctor section of the Australian Photography magazine and was published on this month issue.”

Above: Image Ronald Fritz
Above: Image Ronald Fritz

Frank Romano
“The 3 Amigos Brian Geoffrey and Frankie doing some doggie modelling for me.”

Above: Image by Frank Romano
Above: Image by Frank Romano

Useful Link

10 Photography Accessories You Can Buy at the Supermarket

EP 86 How to photograph fast moving objects

What to photograph?

High speed flash photography examples

Freeze objects that we don’t normally see frozen

  • water droplet
  • insect in flight
  • balloon exploding
  • glass breaking
  • sport

Shutter speed


  • Flash not shutter freezes the action
  • High speed events
  • Very short exposure times to avoid blur,
  • Large amount of light during a short time.
  • Not all flash is created equal

Duration vs power

  • Doesn’t impact exposure as long as the same amount of light is emitted, you’ll get the same exposure.
  • It can affect the result: as the flash duration gets shorter, it has a better ability to freeze motion.
  • For most photography this won’t matter very much. 1/1000s is a typical duration for decent speedlight at full power
  • Good enough to freeze normal motion in a photograph.
  • Shorter flash durations are needed for high-speed photography.
  • Speed of Studio flash vs Speedlight power.
  • Studio flash has more power 80w vs 250, 500, 600, 1200, 1500 or 3000w.
  • Speedlights have a faster flash speed.
  • Lower the power settings the faster the flash.
  • In a studio you need power.
  • To freeze speed action you want high speed flash.

Speedlight duration.

  • 1/880 sec. at M 1/1 (full) output.
  • 1/1100 sec. at M 1/2 output.
  • 1/2550 sec. at M 1/4 output.
  • 1/5000 sec. at M 1/8 output.
  • 1/10000 sec. at M 1/16 output.
  • 1/20000 sec. at M 1/32 output.
  • 1/35700 sec. at M 1/64 output.
  • 1/38500 sec. at M 1/128 output.
  • Or drop 10k on a B4 
  • With a flash duration of 1/25,000th you can freeze anything.

Sound triggers
High Speed Photography Tips

How to Capture A Water Balloon Popping

DIY Sound trigger
Do it yourself cheap – High Speed Flash Trigger

#ginachallenge #speed

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