The Right Lighting For Motion Blur Shots

Caleb Babcock (@cameracaleb) explains the lighting you need to capture motion blur in your phone's photos without complicated tools or techniques

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Movement in a photograph tells a story. It pulls the viewer into the image. But capturing that movement as a motion blur is difficult on a phone because most phones don't allow you to set your own shutter speed. 

But no worries! Before you go downloading complicated apps or breaking out your tripod, here are some tips for great motion blur shots, using only your Moment App and good lighting:

1. Find some shade. 

Believe it or not, shooting midday in the shade with a fast enough subject can giving you motion blur, even without using apps like "Slow Shutter." 

I can rely solely on my Moment App and lenses to get the motion I want. With the slider on the Moment App, you can choose which part of the scene you want to expose for. So if you select a bright area to expose, your phone will expose the whole image the same way, thus making the shadows even darker. 

In doing this, you can actually trick your phone into thinking it needs to slow down the shutter speed.


2. DIY ND Filter. 

This is basically my way of saying, "tape an ND filter on your iPhone or Moment lens." This helps block a ton of light, which will similarly cause the shutter to slow down.

If you're rocking Original (V1) Moment lenses, Moondog actually makes some awesome filters specifically for those products. They work like a dream. 


3. Wait until evening. 

Simple as that. Shooting in the late afternoon means there is less light. 

Once it's not so bright outside, use the slide controls on the Moment App to expose for the darkest part of the image. I always get my favorite motion shots around this time because they look more natural than other lighting solutions.


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