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A Lesson in Using Camera Settings Creatively

By Chris Corradino on July 18, 2014


Is there an alternative for creative photographers?

Take a look at nearly every tutorial on sports photography and you’ll find a recurring theme, fast shutter speeds. This is typically sound advice for sharp results. Yet, you may be wondering, is there an alternative for creative photographers?

This fantastic image by Quinn Rooney shows us there is:

  • Using a longer exposure time, we actually see several of the gymnast’s rotations around the horse.
  • Moving with speed and precision, his deft maneuvers reveal colorful trails.
  • Only the movement of the subject is revealed while the horse is tack sharp.
  • This likely means a tripod was used to create the shot.
  • In addition to showing motion, the photographer has carefully chosen what will appear behind the subject.
  • Rather than including the crowd, rafters, and arena lights, our attention is solely fixed on the athlete.
  • It appears his efforts defy gravity, and the black background introduces a feeling of space.

After a lifetime of practice, he’s deeply focused, determined to turn in a world class performance. Thousands of photos were likely captured at this event. Yet, Rooney’s efforts to create something unique clearly set this image apart.

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About the Author

Chris Corradino is the head of the photography mentor program at NYIP. Just like all of our mentors, he is also a professional photographer.