I’ve been following a photo blog from Thailand for some time now. Gavin Gough has a knack for getting images that most people only dream about. One thing I have seen him do is get an imagine of an object (person, car, bike exc) that is in focus while the background is blurred out. I find this style of photography leaves so much to the imagination, adds a new dimension to ones work and creates motion. To see examples that Gavin does with this technique click on the links below. I especially recommend checking out his post “Postcards From Delhi” with the photo of the little girls in the rickshaw.
While in Cuba I thought I would try and get a photo like Gavin does. I tried to remember the settings he uses and spent about an hour on the street shooting. The pictures above and below are what I got that day. They don’t quite have the feel that Gavin’s does but I will be working on this technique more in the future.
The trick I have found is that people running or bikes on the street, is to set your camera up in manual mode to 1/15 to 1/20sec. Then you put the focus on the subject (if a person say the face) and pan the camera left or right as they are passing. For cars or moto-bikes you will need to increase the speed more, depending on how fast they are going.
This is a technique and not every photo will come out perfect. For every 20 photos I took I got 1 good one. So play around and see what you get. Get out of your programed settings on your camera and try manual mode for once!