hand held motion blurring

TutorPics – Hand-held Motion Blurring

TutorPics – Learning Camera Skills from our BAD pictures


This image was hand-held in bright sunlight with a 250mm lens.

Shooting Notes:

• The bird looks fairly sharp until you zoom on it all the way.  The background blurring is understandable, given the length of the lens (250mm) coupled with the distance from the subject, even though the aperture isn’t at optimum for maximum DOF compression.

• The main problem here is blurring caused by the lens magnification.  When you magnify the subject, you also magnify all movements – whether by the subject, the camera, or both.  The rule for hand-held shots calls for a shutter speed of NOT LESS THAN 1/250th, but the shooter chose – or the camera’s metering chose – 1/200th instead:  Not fast enough to arrest the movement with “a thinner slice of time”.   The bottom line?  She should NOT return her new lens until she tries the same shot – either keeping her shutter speed well above (faster than) 1/250th.  What about using a tripod?  Great suggestion if it was a dead calm day, but any wind would have made a tripod irrelevant for this shot.

rockin robin cropEditing Notes:

• The image begs a major crop to make the subject more prominent, but the lack of sharpness remains.  The original image was about 3000 pixels wide.  That left us with only about 800 pixels on the long side for this cropped version.  To be clear:  Even shooting at the largest size that our cameras can produce has nothing to do with fixing a blurred image in post.  In fact, don’t look to any editor for a miracle sharpening cure.  Just to be thorough, I applied the powerful “high-pass filter” sharpening technique before uploading this cropped version.


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