Week #24: Transportation

To be shot and submitted between Sunday, June 7 and Sunday, June 14 (noon, Eastern)

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.”
-Margaret Shepard

There are 3 tenets of photography that we often talk about here at 52Frames:

  • Creativity
  • Story
  • Technique

This week’s challenge clearly taps into the first 2: Creativity and Story! The intent is not to simply document a vehicle and submit. Take a few days and look at your surroundings. What modes of transportation inspire you? What are some of the non-obvious modes of transportation? What creative angle could you capture your story. Think outside of the box.

You could take your shot from inside a vehicle. Under a vehicle. It doesn’t even have to be a vehicle, it could be a horse! Try light-painting an abandoned car at night. Try panning a fast moving vehicle. Take a photo about transportation, without showing any mode of transportation! How about a first-person view of a bobsled driver? Don’t just take a photo of a bus or car and submit, craft your story, flex your unique voice,  and create something special.

Tips and Tuts for this week:

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our Week 8 (2014) Action album for some transportation and panning inspiration. Here are some stunning examples from around the web, and another gallery of gorgeous vehicles. Not enough? Here are 70 more shots to marvel at.

Extra Credit: Panning

Panning is a great advanced technique that captures a subject in motion in a very unique way: You follow the motion of your subject with your camera so the subject stays in complete focus, while the background becomes blurred. Check out the Googles for some great tutorials, as well as some great image examples.

Some tips to consider:

  • Keep your elbows tucked tightly to your sides and move/pivot your entire upper body, while keeping your camera in the same place in front of your face!
  • Shutter speed can vary based on the speed of your subject. A cyclist? Try 1/20th. A racecar? 1/125th or even 1/250th will probably capture the motion as it’s moving so quickly (YMMV – see what works for you!).
  • Keep your Autofocus on AI-Servo (Canon) or AF-C (Nikon) so it follows through as the subject moves. If you can anticipate where your subject will be, you may be better off focusing on that point, and switching to manual focus (and leaving it).
  • Keep in mind what the blurred background will look like, as well as everything else about the photo: Composition, lighting, color, etc… Find a comfortable spot where you can stand for 45 minutes or more!
  • We have found success following the subject, and only shooting 2-3 shots when it was directly in front of the camera, as opposed to shooting the whole time, but see what feels right for you.
  • Keep practicing! Panning is quite difficult to get the hang of it, so take a bunch of shots! (“Bunch” can mean a few hundred! Don’t worry, digital “film” is super cheap!)

Remember, it is not necessary to work in this Extra Credit piece. It’s extra credit!

Have a challenge idea for 2016?