This image of an eagle in flight was created using a slower shutter speed as well as panning the camera to match the flight speed of the eagle. Experimentation and practice are keys to success. If done correctly, the head of the eagle will remain sharp while the wings will have motion blur. The main objective is get sharp eyes as the part that is sharp is the first area the viewer focuses on when they look at a photo. Choosing the right shutter speed to freeze the wings of an eagle in flight I like to use a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second or faster. However, this time I wanted the wings to be blurry to give the image some motion so I chose a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second.
Deciding what shutter speed to use
- Determine your distance from the bird in flight. The farther away from your subject you are the slower the shutter speed you need to blur motion. If the eagle had been flying closer, a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second would have created the same effect or even better. ·
- Flying speed and speed of the wing movement are other factors. A duck which has a much faster wing speed will not need as slow of a shutter speed to create motion blur.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shutter speeds until you get the hang of it.
Also see my articles for DPS at http://digital-photography-school.com/author/brucewunderlich/