Jarrod Reno – Colorado based Destination Portrait & Wedding Photographer » Portraits and Weddings on Film & Polaroid

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Motion Blur & Wedding Photography ¬

Motion blur - wedding photography

Recently I’ve had a some of clients tell me they were most drawn to my blurry black and white images. They say it carries a different level of emotion even if there isn’t a blatant emotion on the couple’s faces. I’d say I agree and its the main reason I like to drag my shutter in certain circumstances. I’ve also had a couple emails from photographers asking about camera settings and what not so…..

On weddings and couple shoots I always carry my Contax G2 with Kodak Tri-X. What I like about this camera is that in most instances its quick to focus and the on board meter is predictable, so I keep this camera on Auto all day long and trust what it does. Its my free flow camera. When there is a moment where I want to capture motion blur I stop my aperture down to between f11-f16+ depending on light so that my shutter lands anywhere between 1/15-1/60th of a second and I get a nice depth of field. One key I’ve found helpful is to be smoothly moving with the subject… sometimes you can nail it and they’ll be in perfect focus and the background will have a horizontal blur or you’ll see motion blur within the subject themselves.

The photos above was just after the sunset… I first shot at f5.6 with a quick shutter speed and froze the motion then stopped down to show the motion. 90% of the time I prefer the motion blur over the frozen frame… obviously the bulk of your shooting freezes motion all day long so why not drag a shutter every now and then.

Film info: I find that black and white always looks wonderful when there is blur. I always shoot Kodak TriX rated to 1600 and have Indie Film Lab push process 2 stops because I prefer crunchy tones.

My overall goal with shooting this way is to be ultra in tune with the moments. Having a camera that is set up for me to very quickly shoot and intuitively change my settings to capture blur is an easy way to add some timelessness to your work and so far all my clients have more often than not have had these specific shots printed and hung on a wall.


Joe DesGeorges - Dragging the shutter is an old school term used when mixing ambient and flash. Is this what you are talking about? I didn’t think you new school guys did flash much now that huge ISO’s are de rigueur. I understand though, flash can wash out B&W in a hurry.

Annie Hall - I like this.

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