The biggest hurdle is convincing my man to let me take the shots! He never used to like when I got the camera out. But after supporting me through this summer's photography adventures, he has begun to be quite open to the camera - as long as he's helping me get the shot and not actually IN the shot.
When one of the Digital Photography School's assignments was a picture with "motion blur" of a person or animal, it was the perfect opportunity to ask him for help!
Once he was convinced to let me try (and even excited about the idea!), there were the other issues....
1) Carrying a camera and tripod into the local pub... We waited until the right time of the evening when there weren't that many people there - and those that were are "regulars" and already know us. Even so, it made several people nervous, so I did not even TRY to take anyone else's picture that night. I thought it would be better for them to get used to the idea of me with a camera in a non-threatening way.
2) Low Light!! I took many shots (about 50 or so) and kept adjusting the ISO and shutter speed.
3) The shutter speed itself. I wanted a blur that showed the motion of throwing a dart, but I started with a shutter speed that was way too long. This got me several shots of ghostly arms that looked like they weren't attached to bodies! Each shot I sped up the shutter speed, then had to fix the ISO...... it took a little while.
4) Actually capturing the movement. As the shutter speed was faster and faster, I had to really watch to capture the actual throw. I missed it several times. Most of the dart players I know are very still while they aim then the actual throw is like a snap. Very fast!
5) Camera angle (????) Where to set up the camera, on a tripod, in a bar, where it won't bother the person throwing darts, be in the way where either the camera or I might be hit by the darts, out of traffic so I don't get run over or have random people walking through the shot..... It took a while to get this one right!
Anyway, here are a few of the shots I got that night.
The first angle I tried...
Too much blur - not enough action... Also the TV in the background is distracting
WAY too much blur! Lots of action though...
So I tried a different angle.
A little better. No movement though. I couldn't decide whether to focus on the hubby or the dart board. But since the hubby is moving and the board isn't, that seemed the answer.
Shutter speed still too slow. There are the ghostly arms I was talking about
Too dark!! Ack!
This is the one I ended up submitting. It's not perfect by any means, but it is much closer.
The important things for me were - A) Learned a bit about shutter speed and motion blur. B) Learned a LOT about shutter speed, low lighting and ISO, and C) Got husband excited about being in a picture!!!! BONUS!! :)