Getting our kicks experimenting with photography techniques

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Lights, Camera, Action

The Silverless studio is always a hive of activity but when our very own Tae Kwon Do Master/Senior Designer, Mitch and resident photographer, James, got together to create some epic action shots using motion blur, it felt like a location from a Jet Li movie. 

Here’s James on how he achieved these stunning images. 

“Shutter dragging, also known as slow speed sync flash, combines the techniques of freezing and blurring motion in a single frame. It allows you to capture action shots that convey a sense of motion and excitement. By using a long exposure and a well-timed flash, photographers can capture dynamic action shots with stunning results. All you need for this is a dark space with a black background and two light sources: a constant light (like a household lamp) and a flash (such as a speedlight). It’s best to position them on opposite sides to avoid overlapping the sharp and blurry areas. To add to the effect here we used coloured gels on the constant lighting so that the trail of blur was tinted red.

Once both the flash and LED lights are set, all we need to do is set the camera to trigger the flash at the rear curtain – which is the very end of the exposure – then experiment with a bulb exposure by holding the shutter button down for a second or two. Then it’s all about the timing. As Mitch sets off for a kick we start the exposure, then release the shutter button at the apex of the move. When everything comes together, the results can be amazing.”

Dynamic and visually arresting, we’ve all seen Mitch in a new light, literally. 

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