In a previous post I was extolling the virtue of the still photograph over video: but even the still photograph needs to have a sense of movement.
In early portrait photography the subject had to keep still for a few seconds while the camera recorded their features onto a plate. Any movement would blur the image.
The resulting rather statuesque appearance in 19th century portraiture perhaps set the fashion with everyone assuming that they were meant to look rather stiff and serious when being photographed.
With continuing improvements to the methods by which photographs were produced it was possible to reduce exposure time to fractions of a second. However even with an exposure of one thirtieth of a second, sudden movement can significantly reduce the sharpness of the picture.
Popular cameras incapable of shorter exposure times than this were being sold well into the second half of the 20th century. So, everyone was encouraged to keep quite still and “watch the birdie”.
Today’s cameras are very different and are capable of very short exposure time, with shutter speeds far faster than is needed for crisp portrait photographs.
Yet it is surprising how many people still think that they have to freeze for the camera. I like my subjects to keep moving from pose to pose. It helps relax the person being photographed and brings some movement to the still images that we produce.
So when you’re being photographed keep moving between brief poses albeit relatively slowly i.e. slow foxtrot rather than breakdancing (is that how you spell it?) and your pictures will have movement and meaning.
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