The man in the above image is ambling along at 3 miles per and this is what he looks like at 1/125th of a second. Of course shutter speed determines the amount of motion blur you capture. The longer the exposure, the more motion the film captures and hence the blur. But not all of this pedestrian is blurred… his right foot and left hand are sharp!
Why? Well for starters, the right foot is securely planted and the rest of his body moving around it. So no motion for the right foot. The left hand is another matter though as it is swinging. My theory is that while his body is moving forward, his arm is swinging in the opposite direction, in effect cancelling each other out. The hand is frozen for my shot because it decided to swing at just the right speed…
Another example of a frozen foot:
Examples like these are in many places in my portfolio. I like capturing people walking, and sometimes it works well. However, for the most part, I need to freeze the action! To do that you must have faster shutter speeds but unfortunately in the subway, that is not possible for the most part.
So what to do? Shoot amblers and strollers in the street in the daylight and shoot standers in the subway. Or shoot with flash. Flash is another way of doing it but I have yet to venture into this territory…
Or…. just shoot someone who doesn’t walk to fast :-):