When we have movement appearing in the scene the photographer needs to decide how best to portray the motion in the photograph. Will the final image look best with the moving elements appearing as blur or is it best to freeze the action? This of course is the choice the photographer has to make. More often than not it is best to try both and see what looks best.
Some subjects (like water for example) suit both types of presentation. A water-skier cutting through the water at speed with the spray appearing as frozen water droplets is a fantastic background.
The one control we have at our disposal, which determines how movement appears, is the camera’s shutter. To freeze the action a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second or greater is required (depending on the speed and angle of the moving elements in the frame). For moving elements to appear as blur a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second or slower is required.
The photograph shown here was taken in Yorkshire in October 2011 one Saturday morning at about 7:30am. It was raining and we were under the canopy of trees to provide some shelter from the elements. The appearance of the scene to eye was dark yet the camera has recorded it differently. The exposure was 8 seconds with an Aperture of f8. The ISO setting was 100. I experimented using faster and slower shutter speeds. At 30 seconds the water appeared totally smooth. I finally chose 8 seconds as at this speed the water was still depicted as moving yet it retained some detail.
After having spent about 2 hours at this location it was time to head back to Malham for a very welcoming breakfast.