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9 Motion Blur Photography Ideas to Get You Inspired

Last Updated on

photographer taking picture of ballons

There’s nothing wrong with being in a creative rut, and if you’re going through one at the moment, we’ve drafted a couple of ideas that might be helpful in the short and long run. A quick disclaimer though; some of these ideas are too advanced for someone who’s just starting. But the good news is, we have a little bit of something for everyone.shutter camera divider 2

The 9 Motion Blur Photography Ideas

1. Rain

couple under the umbrella while raining
Photo Credit: Joel Overbeck, Unsplash
Skill Level: Beginner

You don’t have to postpone an outdoor photo session that you’ve planned for days due to bad weather. A good photographer knows rainy days usually present macro photography opportunities. Especially if you already have a solid knowledge of image composition, the appropriate gear, and a willingness to get out of your comfort zone.

The good thing about this type of photography is that it doesn’t need a lot of prep. The bad? You’ll have to invest a lot of time learning the inner workings of a digital camera, and how to set up a scene.

2. Cinematic Photography

Skill Level: Advanced

You know that feeling of excitement that you usually get when a film starts rolling and in the blurred background, you could tell someone is busy doing something? Well, you can create that same effect by taking shots, and then cropping the images during post-production.

Filmmakers often rely on this type of effect to relay emotion and present narrative elements. So if you’re looking to offer your audience something different, this could be a cool idea. You can either crop the images on your own using Photoshop or with the help of aspect ratios.

3. Dancing Images

Photo Credit: Pixabay
Skill Level: Intermediate

There’s only one rule here: Make sure your subject is big enough to enhance the effects of motion blur. If you feel like your dancer has a smaller-than-average frame, request them to put on a flowy dress with a semi-transparent fabric. Whatever color they decide to go with will be up to you. As long as they fill up that space and create lots of movement.

4. Food Photography

Skill Level: Beginner

Taking great food photos is difficult for some people because they fail to observe the basic rules. Try moving the plate around to find the best angle, and using various light sources. If the kitchen doesn’t work for you, go to the living room or even the bedroom. And lastly, don’t just take one, but multiple angle shots if you wish to get the right image composition. Try pouring things like water, salt, and sugar over the food for that motion blur effect.

5. Capture The Fog

fog in the forest during fall season
Image Credit: aszak, Pixabay
Skill Level: Advanced

There’s a specific technique used to capture fog waves, and you have to take into account the fact that your desired effect will be influenced by the shutter speed. If the ultimate goal is to get a freeze-frame, your shutter speed should be faster. Slower speeds are ideal for prolonged exposure that guarantee silky, smooth waves.

Using a neutral density filter can trick any type of camera into thinking that you’re working at night. Hence, reducing its shutter speed.

6. Concerts

Skill Level: Intermediate

Who honestly doesn’t enjoy listening to good music? Or better yet, who doesn’t like seeing people have a good time? A concert is the best place to practice your motion blur photography. The scene is always perfect, since it has the right amount of light, and a crowd that’s full of excitement.

Besides the obvious, the other benefit of shooting at a concert is the fact that you’ll be able to capture the movements of different subjects. And if you know how to merge all those shots, you’ll eventually create something that tells an amazing story. 

All you need to worry about is the timing and size of the aperture. If your aperture is wider, more light will ‌pass through to the sensor. Thus, creating a crisp and detailed motion blur image.

7. Abstract Photos

Image Credit: Pixabay
Skill Level: Intermediate

There’s no doubt in our minds that photographers who purely specialize in the abstract genre have spent years in the game, learning how to manipulate light, various movements, and perspectives. This art’s intention is normally to transform an ordinary image into something that looks completely alien. You need a really strong foundation in the field to get to this level.

A good example of a motion blur abstract photo has fireworks as the subject. Seeing as such photos are so common on social media, you’ll have to put your own spin on them, for them to stand out. By reducing the shutter speed, you’ll be able to make them look like ghostly light streaks.

8. Busy City Life

Skill Level: Intermediate

The motion blur effect will help you contrast the life experienced in the city with that of an isolated town or village. Once you’ve taken the shots, you’ll notice the spotlight will be focused on the busyness of the bustling city. A tripod will be a necessity here because holding the camera for an extended period will blur your photos too much.  As usual, your shutter speed has to be slow.

9. Sports photography

Yoga Fitness
Image Credit: Pixabay
Skill Level: Advanced

As a genre, sports photography usually presents the perfect opportunity for photojournalists to showcase their skills in every aspect of this art. All the movements, emotions, and colors are all you need to generate images that look a lot more like paintings.

The only thing that would discourage anyone from ever trying this idea is the fact that they require high-level training, practice, and high-grade equipment.

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We hope these ideas will inspire you and get your creative juices flowing again. Getting out of a creative rut is never an easy thing, but we’ve all been there. Just keep on exploring new ideas until you find that one key that unlocks everything.

You can always reach out and share some of your ideas so that we can help other photographers as well. Working as a community is the only way we get to learn and gain new skills.

Featured Image Credit: RB_Media, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.