Hello everyone, trust I meet you doing good?
I was playing around with my smart phone camera some days ago, and I discovered this cool motion blur effect could be easily created perfectly with less stress. Firstly, what's motion blur.
Motion blur is the apparent streaking of moving objects in a photograph or a sequence of frames, such as a film or animation. It results when the image being recorded changes during the recording of a single exposure, due to rapid movement or long exposure.
These effects are commonly found in sports photography, whereby the subject been captured is on motion leaving it background blurred and starched out with a perfectly focused subject. Football and Car racing are two common examples of such sport. Of no doubt, any skilled photographer can achieve this effect with is/her camera. But have you ever thought I could be achieved with a smartphone. Yes, I mean creating it intentionally. _I know we all at some point have accidentally taken a picture but yet the picture still did come out nice with a whole different perspective. I'm not referring to that now, I'm referring to a shot you took with a cautious awareness aiming to create a unique perspective. Well creating the motion blur effect while taken a selfie isn't something special or difficult to do. It's basically created just the same way its done with a camera.
I know you might be wondering how possible this is. I tell you, its 100% possible. Well, creating a motion blur effect with a Camera requires you to tweak some setting such as the Aperture and Shutter speed and ISO. The shutter speed needs to be brought low, the aperture needs to be brought down to a smaller sizer also because a slower shutter speed will allow more light to get to the image sensor, you run the risk of overexposing the shot, and lastly the ISO settings should be reduced. This will limit the amount of light that will reach the image sensor and likewise hinder the sensor from capturing a perfectly clear frame. Depth of field would actually allow the object (i.e the subject) closer to the camera clearer than the objects that are further. After all the settings have been applied correctly, all that's remaining to achieve the shot is to properly frame the object and then pan your camera along in the same direction as the moving object (i.e subject you want to capture) with quite a relative speed to it and trying to maintain stability as best as possible, then click the shutter button in the process. With that you should be able to achieve a motion blur background shot.
What is Panning?
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So now let's get to how it's been done with a smartphone
To be sincere, It's similar to how it's been achieved with a camera, just that you won't be going through the process of tweaking any settings. Just place your smartphone at an angle you want to achieve the shot from and ensure its properly framed then pan your body along with your hand ensuring the smartphone remain fixed on your face and then tap on the shutter button once or multiple(most advisably) times during the process of your motion. One key thing to keep in mind is that, it might not work in an overexposed area (i.e where's there's too much light, e.g under the Sun). So try to do this indoor or under a shade. Also, note that you might have to try it more than once in order yo achieve a perfect shot, as all shot taken during the process isn't certain to give off a perfect motion blur background effect.
Another method is by twirling (i.e rotate rapidly) your whole body while having your smartphone constantly fixed to your face and tapping the shutter button in the process. The faster you twirl, the heavier the motion blur effect tends to become. But mind you, you don't wanna over twirl so you won't get dizzy and either fall or throw up.
Below are some images I took during the twirl method illustration
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You should observe that there was no motion blur effect created at all in the background l. Yes, that was because I was in an overexposed area. I was staying directly under the sun, which will automatically make our smartphone camera settings to be altered and not capable of creating the effect. So that's why I started earlier that you should avoid trying out the effect under the Sun. You should either try it indoor or under a shaded area, most preferably in a low lighting condition.
So I stepped down to a low lighting area to create the above. I created this using a super quick pan of about 30 degrees and using my two hands to hold my smartphone in order to ensure there was stability.
In this forty two (42) seconds video above, I made a video record of myself twirling. The first twelve (12) seconds were basically me just twirling and making several facial expressions. Then in the remaining thirty (30) seconds of the video, I paused some frames in the video which has a perfectly created motion blurred background and a clear subject. It was just to further explain how the effect could be made.
This effect could easily be achieved because most smartphone's default camera doesn't come with a fast shutter speed or a means whereby the shutter speed can be adjusted or manually set. Maybe a third party camera App could actually support that. But based on default, most of smartphone camera settings are Automatic and do generally fall within a minimal settings level which is capable of perfectly achieving the shot.
Some other samples I tried creating in a slightly overexposed condition.
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You'll observe there aren't visible motion blur effect at the background. The background are only slightly blur. This was so because I was in a slightly overexposed area which will allowed more light to get to the smartphone's camera image sensor. But yet it still help to create some kind of portrait feel effect. Still a win-win situation I believe 😁
Try it out and let me know if you could achieve it. I would love to see what you were able to achieve in the comments below. Cheers 🍻
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