When you shoot creative movement you need suitable equipment for the job. This means that you need to make some investments, although you can buy many of these items for good prices second hand, or from auction sites online. Shop around and make sure you camera is compatible with the accessories you buy.
Here are some of the pieces of equipment that you will find very useful when shooting creative movement.
• Camera. A digital SLR is preferable because you will be able to see your work as you go along – capturing movement is always a little unpredictable! You will also be able to adjust settings right away so you can improve on each shot.
• Lenses. You can use various lenses for this work, although ideally, a standard or wide angle works well depending on what you are shooting. A wide angle lens is great for landscapes and images of water and clouds moving.
• Tripod. A tripod is essential for movement work because you want to be able to capture the contrast between the still and moving objects. Don’t think that you can handhold an image and get away with it – some types of movement can only be captured with fairly long shutter speeds of a few seconds or so. If you tripod has a central column, try to not extend it as it is less stable when extended. You can even buy tripods that have a bag hook at the end of the central column, which stabilises things further and keeps your bag clean! A tripod is useful for panning shots (they will be less messy than handheld ones), so consider a three way gear rather than a ball head for this.
• Filters. When working outdoors a polarizer filter is always useful. A neutral density filter is extremely important because on most bright and clear days, it will be too bright to get a slower shutter speed. Instead, use a ND filter – you can buy various strengths too to make sure you get the best result – the higher the number, the more light it will block out. Something from 0.9 is a good choice.
• Flash. A flashgun can be useful, especially if you used delayed flash, which creates an ethereal glow. Alternatively, you can pop the flash at the end of a long shutter speed to add some focus to the moving object (it will freeze the action at the end). You can use a TTL flash which means the camera will calculate everything for you, or use the manual function.
• Remote or cable release. With any long exposure speed image, you need to use a remote or cable release because if you move the camera when taking the photograph, it will be obvious (and not in a good way). For example if you are shooting a waterfall, making the camera move my make the rocks look slightly blurred when all you want captured moving is the water.