You Can Be a Better Street Photographer by Using Slow Shutter Speeds & Rear Curtain Flash (VIDEO)

Doug McKinlay is a successful photojournalist who does a lot of street photography, and in this quick tutorial he describes two great techniques for making your images more interesting.

McKinlay’s first tip is use slow shutter speeds to convey motion in a photograph, and he demonstrates how to maintain a sharp background while inducing blur in a moving foreground subject by mounting the camera on a tripod and selecting the proper shutter speed. He also explains how a neutral density filter will enable you to use longer exposures when shooting on bright, sunny days.

The second technique in McKinlay’s bag of tricks is rear curtain flash sync combined with a long exposure to create an effect that’s somewhat the opposite of the one described above. In this case, the flash fires just before the camera’s rear curtain closes, thereby freezing the foreground subject while maintaining background blur.

When using rear curtain flash sync, McKinlay foregoes the tripod and actually induces more background blur by intentionally moving the camera during the long exposure. For both techniques he provides advice on the camera and flash settings you need to give all this a try.

You can find more tips and tricks on the AdoramaTV YouTube channel, and be sure to watch an earlier McKinlay tutorial we shared with a simple trick for framing landscapes and cityscapes.