Your photos, our favourites: high speed photography

Taking inspiration from the Skijoring adventure of Franco Moro, we challenged you to demonstrate how you capture high speed subjects to create drama. We chose two of our favourites and asked the photographers to tell us the story behind them. Both use fast shutter speeds to capture the subject in motion, one in its natural habitat and the other in a manmade setting.

Flight of the blue tit by Paul Phillips

Flight of the Blue Tit by Paul Phillips

“I recently bought a Canon 5D Mark III and a 70–200mm f/4 USM lens. Having read the manual I was eager to test the fast shutter speed capability and knew of a place where an old man feeds the birds daily.

The scene of the birds coming in to feed was a perfect opportunity to familiarise myself with the camera and lens combo. In particular, I wanted to test the imagine stabilisation options.

My main challenge was setting up the shot as I wasn’t certain of what settings would capture the subject best. The shutter speed and auto focus settings had to be considered for such a small and unpredictable bird and so I used the presets for moving objects. I also had to get close to the subject so, I sat on the ground about nine feet away from the feeders. After a while the birds became used to my presence, although the noise of the shutter caused them to fly. I then waited patiently, lining up the camera for my desired shot, capturing the result I was after. In the end I used the lens at 200mm with a shutter speed of 1/1000 and an ISO of 200.

The mid-morning colours worked perfectly in lighting the subject at this location. I will probably never have the chance to repeat this image as the likelihood of all the relevant variables coming together again would be like winning the lottery, twice!”

Falling lemon by Filippo Fania

Falling Lemon by Filippo Fania

“Perhaps surprisingly, this photo was taken in my kitchen at home. I was trying to demonstrate how high speed situations, as with the lemon falling into the water, can be beautiful if captured at the right moment. I used an old aquarium and set up the shot using a tripod and the flash trigger with two lights at either side to illuminate the rippling water.

I used Aperture Priority (Av) mode on my Canon EOS 550D and a 50mm f/1.8 lens.”

Try this month’s challenge

We want to see how you see your world, so why not take part in our monthly photo challenges? You’ll find this month’s theme on our Gallery. Grab your camera, whatever kind you have, find a story and then share your perspective on the world for everyone to see.