It moved

February 16, 2007

Traditionally news agency photography aims to capture an event in a single definitive image. At one end of the spectrum it can be a simple snapshot, at the other end it is a distilled blend of intelligence, dedication, experience, humanity, talent and the ability to apply a broad spectrum of visual references including cinema and TV.

Swan Lake

We spend a great deal of time trying to capture the decisive moment by freezing moments in time but in this picture of the Royal Opera Company performing Swan Lake, Kieran Doherty slowed his shutter speed, stretching the moment to produce an image which captures the energy and sumptuous colour of the dance like a movie in a single frame.

Tokyo umbrellas

Another way of introducing movement into a still image is by using zoom burst which draws the eye into or out of the frame. Using zoom burst Kim Kyung-Hoon makes a lovely picture of what is essentially just a rainy day in Tokyo.

While they are both entirely valid techniques, my view is that motion blur or zoom burst should be used only very, very sparingly and the results edited ruthlessly leaving only completely successful examples. If it doesnt work successfully first time, keep trying until it does and until it then, keep it to yourself.

Nick Frost

Back again to down and dirty pictures shot under pressure on the pitches and pavements of the World. Dylan Martinezs image of British actor Nick Frost having his photo taken with a fan before the premier of his latest film uses the strong diagonal element running bottom left to top right to lead the viewers eye to the subject, face neatly framed by the reaching arms of fans.

U.N. peacekeeper

Like looking down into the depths of a pool the eye travels back from the tip of gun to the figure of a U.N. peacekeeper standing guard on a street in Port-au-Prince, in this chillingly powerful abstract in muted tones by Eduardo Munoz.


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Fabulous pics and a great new blog. All of us at Black Star Rising have added it to our readers.

Posted by scott | Report as abusive

Hi David,
I’ve read this blog for the first time today and it’s a great idea – have enjoyed the entries so far and think it makes us take a second look at our pictures when we’re not in the thick of it in the production process. Picking up on the slow shutter speed thread, I noticed a picture from Alessia Pierdomenico a few days ago, shot from above a runway during a fashion show in London – it showed a white strip running horizontally across the image with spectators on the top and bottom of the frame, and just the feet of the model at various points in the frame. Do you think it was a successful frame, if so why, and if not why not?

Posted by Vivek Prakash | Report as abusive

I want to thank Reuters for this great blog space. It offers the chance for readers and amateur photographers to express their viewpoints on Reuters photos. Regarding this shot, the simplicity of it amazes me athough the idea of this shot (Shallow DOF and composition) can only be captured by a creative mind and experienced eye.

Posted by M. Hammoud | Report as abusive