Darren Ward Photography Blog

This is the blog section of my website, which I use to post educational photography articles and tutorials. You can find posts using the navigation menu above, by looking at the list of recent posts below or by checking the Site Map.

Photographing through mesh fences

A wire fence, of the kind common at race circuits and other locations where the public need to be kept out or something else needs to be kept in, is often viewed as an obstacle to photography but this isn’t necessarily the case. By controlling the placement and depth of your depth of field you can render these fences invisible, or at least close to invisible. It even works for cake cooling racks and Jaguar XJ220 pencil cases just as well as with real cars and fences.

Photograph of mesh obscuring the view of a car.
Photograph with the mesh rendered almost invisible.

Both of the above images are taken through the same mesh.

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Adding flash to panned images

Panning (discussed in this post) and the motion freezing properties of a flash might seem like unsuitable partners, but you can target a certain part of your image with a flash without losing your blurred background. The areas hit by the flash will be frozen – because the duration of the flash is very short and therefore has the effect of using a fast shutter speed – but the areas lit mostly by ambient light will remain blurred.

An example of a panned image with a subtle addition of flash.

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Panning (using motion blur)

Panning is a technique which involves intentionally creating motion blur in parts of an image to give an impression of movement and is a good example of how an effect that is sometimes undesirable in photography can also be used in a creative manner. It can also be used to reduce the impact of distracting foreground or background objects by blurring them.

An example of a panned image featuring a Mini Cooper S rally car.

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