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Railfan Technology > Moving Train Blur Photo


Date: 07/21/19 14:13
Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: eastpenn23

This is a bit of a novice question but what camera settings allow for a fast moving train to be in focus while the rest of the picture is blurred? Low aperture and fast shutter speed is my guess



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/19 14:25 by eastpenn23.



Date: 07/21/19 15:13
Re: Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: trainjunkie

It's called a pan shot. You would want a slow shutter speed. Train speed and focal length play heavily into the settings as well. Doing it right takes practice. There are some shooters here who have mastered it but I'm sure all of them will tell you to experiment and practice.



Date: 07/21/19 21:36
Re: Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: eastpenn23

trainjunkie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It's called a pan shot. You would want a slow
> shutter speed. Train speed and focal length play
> heavily into the settings as well. Doing it right
> takes practice. There are some shooters here who
> have mastered it but I'm sure all of them will
> tell you to experiment and practice.

Thanks. I’ll try and practice on some cars to get more reps in!

Posted from iPhone



Date: 07/22/19 09:57
Re: Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: BRAtkinson

Pan shots work best when the camera is mounted on a tripod with the head able to rotate either direction easily.  Why not hand held?  Because in the fraction of a second the shutter is open, you might move the camera vertically just a tad which will result in a blurred image.

Depending on how fast the train is moving, a shutter speed somewhere in the range of 1/30th to 1/125th is a good starting point.  I'd also want a 'medium' aperature, such as f8 (give or take) to get a decent depth of field (plane of focus) to 'cover' any focus tracking problems. 

Also, if you're a Canon shooter like me, set the AF Type to AI Servo.  (there's a similar setting for 'continuous AF tracking' on most if not all DSLRs)   If it moves or breathes, AI Servo is the setting that keeps the auto focus 'locked on' the moving object.  I also lock down/restrict the AF point selection to center AF point only.  Otherwise, your camera will usually 'lock on' to whatever AF point is closest,  like a tree branch, bush, <whatever>.  And, like swinging a baseball bat, start rotating the camera to get your hands/arms synchronized with the speed of the train and THEN press the shutter button and 'follow through' afterwards.



Date: 07/22/19 13:11
Re: Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: robj

Google it and you will get some ideas.  Factors of course are speed of train, distance from tracks, focal ength of lens how extreme you want the blur to be.  There is also a difference in steam and non steam subjects depending on how you want the mechanics of the steam engine to appear.  With good technique not sure a tripod is required.
Pre focus(manual) on your expected point which is usually at a full 90 degree angle is another idea.  Not some thing i really do but if you have a high frequency line near you like a commuter line, it would be better practice than a car do to subject size.

Bob



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/19 13:26 by robj.



Date: 07/22/19 14:09
Re: Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: jimB

I try to hold the camera on focus point like the engine number as I pan the camera and shoot when the subject is pretty much abeam.

At 1/30 and f8 at minimum ISO of 100 you will probably overexpose the image, but that can usually be fixed in editing, or by using a neutral density filter to darken the image.

The other motion blur is to zoom out while shooting a nosy shot, which I am still working on.

It's fun to experiment with (pixels are free) and see what you get. If you are near an airport, you can also experiment with airplanes landing if you have a background other than the sky. A Blue Angel F/A-18 worked quite well for me once.

Jim B
 



Date: 07/23/19 05:53
Re: Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: eastpenn23

Thanks for the advice

Posted from iPhone



Date: 08/05/19 19:56
Re: Moving Train Blur Photo
Author: skyview

I would also recommend shooting a burst of images, 3-6, not just one...



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