How I Spent my Sunday, Part 2

Daughter came over to help me with my lighting assignment – portrait using a continuous light source and a flash/strobe.  On the advice of our instructor, I shot her with a much longer lens than the previous week. I’m quite pleased with the results.

Ali doing her best Blue Steel and trying not to laugh. See “Zoolander”


And one in black and white . . .

And here is the best of the motion blur effect I tried to replicate. Given the ambient light in the room, it wasn’t as strong as I’d hoped it would be. Still, it has a bit of an ethereal, Mona Lisa quality to it. This was shot at 100 ISO, 1/13s at f/3.5. After pressing the shutter I zoomed in to create the blur and halo around her face.  Next time I’ll do this in a darker room.  I did not block off the windows as carefully as I usually do.


  1. Very nice photos (and yes, subject, too).

    I do have a question regarding the motion blur . . . the description gave me pause; “After pressing the shutter I zoomed in to create the blur and halo around her face.”

    You were shooting at 1/13s; even accounting for shutter lag, that’s not much time to change the zoom especially doing so without causing camera shake (unless you have an incredibly sturdy tripod and head).

    I’ve seen motion blur done as you describe with longer exposures taking care to not introduce camera shake, but 1/13s seems beyond average human reaction time (around 1/5s). Am I interpreting the description correctly, or is there something I’m missing?


    • The flash doesn’t care how long the shutter speed is. That’s what freezes the area of focus (her face). Then the shutter drag pulls in the continuous light behind her. Camera shake at that point becomes part of the photo, if you wish. This also could be done with the camera on a tripod, which would make for straight lines, but in this case, I didn’t want that.


        • I get the lighting, and I get that zoom lenses are fast, but I’m trying to envision pressing the shutter and manually changing the zoom in the ensuing 1/13s the shutter is open.

          Unless you’re already in the process of zooming when the shutter is released.

          Anyway, not a big deal; just curious.


          • OK . . . you must be very quick. 1/13s ==> 0.077seconds, or 77 milliseconds.

            I wonder if it would be easier moving slightly closer or farther as the shutter is released. If using the ‘constant focus’ setting, it would have the same effect as zooming. Anyway, on to other stuff. Thanks for the clarification.


  2. Beautiful photos, Carissa. (Notice, no “l”) Would this work with a regular camera, or does it have to be a camera where you control the speed?


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