August 27 2016 Rafting - MickeyRountree

August 27 2016 Rafting

Breaking Out of a Rut


On a recent PSC several of us went to the Ocoee Whitewater to photograph rafters and kayakers. You may remember this as the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics whitewater events.

My problem is I've been here so many times that it's hard to make a picture that is different and interesting. I have literally hundreds of raft and kayak pictures with frozen spray and sharp faces shot at fast shutter speeds. But I wanted something different from this trip. My solution was to try photographing at very slow shutter speeds (1/25 and 1/30 sec) and panning with the rafts.

Only one or two out of each sequence were usable, but I think they create a more unique look and were worth the effort. With the rafts bouncing up and down, and spinning, as well as moving forward, even panning couldn't keep everything sharp. My technique was to stay locked in on a single individual as I panned. Movement in any direction other than how my subject moved created more blurring. There are no selective focus filters or motion blurs added. What you see is what I shot.

So next time you find yourself shooting the same old subject, try shooting it with a technique totally different than what you would normally use. Every picture may not turn out well, but there may also be some pleasant surprises.


Fast shutter speed, sharp faces, frozen spray. BTDT

And now for something different

Very slow shutter speed with panning

Results are interesting and unpredictable