• art
  • Blur
  • blurry
  • Dancing
  • Directional Light
  • Fun
  • graceful
  • Indoor
  • motion
  • Motion Blur
  • Movement
  • Natural
  • Soft Light

The story behind the image

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This is a shot from a set of shots — these were movement based and I followed the couple as they moved with each other. She is a ballerina and he is a military man, newlyweds. I wanted to depict the grace and dainty essence she exuded and the strong masculine energy he brought. I wanted to feel the movement so I decided to shoot this with motion blur. It’s a delicate art to capture blur correctly without taking away from the story.
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Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

I wanted them wrapped in each other, him behind her. Sort of like a protector while she was the highlight of the whole image. I allowed them to move as they felt, her to dance around with soft hands – shoulders away from her ears and him to fill in the negative gaps whenever possible. This image wasn’t that but I still chose it because of her loud and delicate presence. In order to keep the motion but also making what’s happening in the image obvious, I tried to follow her moving patterns and panned with that to still keep her a tad bit focused and not being completely lost in the blur.

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What did you say?

“P (her), I want you to move softly and gracefully. Remember to relax the hands and bring shoulders away from the ears. Soften the jaw and teeth. B (him), stay behind her but wherever you see a good opportunity, fill in the negative gaps her creates with her body. Move slowly and intentionally and I will follow you.”

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Tone of Directions



With blur and movement, I honestly don’t know what the image is going to exactly look like. I have a loose idea but that’s all. It is all dependent on their movement together. I simply move and capture when I see something in my viewfinder. Sometimes it plays by the rules, sometimes not but it still adds to the story. This composition was simple, smack dab in the middle. But the blur adds a little zest to it to make it a little more interesting.

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Center Framed


Describe how you spoke to your subject(s)

Honestly, there wasn’t much focusing. I don’t mind if the focus is tack sharp, soft, or completely missed. With blur, as long as I can make out what’s happening – I am happy.

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Focus Mode

Single Shot

Focus POints

Single Focus Point

Focused on

Blurry / Out of Focus

Equipment &

Canon 5F Mark IV
Sigma 35mm 1.4
1/40 @ f/2.8 ISO100 WB-Auto

The way the EXIF is written out follows the common photographic method (with the inclusion of White Balance at the end). Here it is broken down:

Shutter Speed @ Aperture ISO White Balance.

Light & Weather

It was midday sun but indirect light coming in on the right from the window. With it being indirect light but midday, it still created enough light to fall on the subjects beautifully. With it being side lit, you risk shadowing when someone moves from it which happened with the girl but the light was framing her left side and his face enough for it to work.

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Light Type

Natural Light

Time of day




Editing Workflow

How did you edit this image?

I used my own black and white presets called Impermanence – Ephemeral. Its soft and dreamy for a black and white preset with a very subtle warm tint. I did very minimal editing beside the one click preset. I did, however, lift the shadows to see more of the girl’s face as it was turn away from the light. With her being a ballerina and this being a romantic shoot inspired by the renaissance, I wanted the edit to emulate that of a painting.

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Editing Software


With it being side lit by the window, if they looked away from the window, their faces would be in the shadow. This prompt was a dancing/movement prompt so I didn’t want to limit their movement which resulted in inevitable shadowing on their faces.

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I honestly wanted to embrace it but if you wanted to totally remedy the shadow, you can do a simple radial filter or brush work to brighten/lift shadows on her face.

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Location Name

Urban Decay Atrium

Location aDDRESS

Urban Decay Atrium, Garfield Park, Chicago

Loation Type

Abandon Atrium


United States

Let go of any need to be perfect or technically correct. Learn the rules and break them.

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