National Geographic

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 16/101: Add a Sense of Motion to Your Still Images

This is tip #16 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip (from Laos): Add a sense of motion to your still images.

Experiment with different slow shutter speeds to blur the movement in a scene in which the subjects are moving. You have probably seen this effect in National Geographic magazine.

I took the opening photograph for this post at 1/30th of a second. It has a much greater sense of motion than the above photograph.

Use your camera's LCD monitor to check the areas of the scene you want blurred . . . and sharp.

Also keep this in mind: the closer you are to the subject, the more it will be blurred.

I took this photograph with my Canon EOS 7D and what is becoming one of my favorite city-shooting lenses, the Canon 14mm lens.

Explore the light,

P.S. If you travel with an iPhone, check out my 24/7 Photo Buffet app. Tons of travel photo tips.

Quick Digital Imaging Tip 6/101: Planning is a Major Key to Successful Photographs

This is #6 of 101 digital imaging tips I plan to post here over the next few months. Stay tuned.

Today's tip: Planning is the key.

National Geographic will air Great Migrations this fall - worldwide. Personally, I can't wait for the series to begin. I am sure months, if not years, of planning went into the making of the series.

I've been fortunate to have experienced and photographed two migrations: the monarch butterfly migration in Mexico, and the zebra/wildebeest migration in Kenya. Basically, I was in the right place at the right time. However, I planned for about a year in advance of both event to be in the right place at the right time: January for the monarchs and October for the zebra/wildebeest.

No matter what your subject, planning is one of the major keys to successful photographs. Planning not only helps you be on site for a cool event, but it also helps you prepare for weather, religious customs, health precautions, tipping and so on. Web sites, and now apps, are a great way to plan a shoot.

Speaking of apps, many travel apps, including apps that tell you exact sunrise and sunset times, are available on the App Store. Apps are also available for specific locations, such as Arches National Park and Angkor Wat, where I am heading off to as I write this and post at 30,000 feet. Apps are also available to help you convert currency.

Yes, I was lucky to get these shots. However, I do know that luck favors the well prepared :-)

Explore the light.

Rick Sammon,
Canon Explorer of Light

P.S. If you are looking for a handy travel photography app for your iPhone or iPad, check out my 24/7 Photo Buffet. Tons of tips, photos and even movies.