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Widely used in sports photography, although it can also be used for other purposes, the trick shot technique is used to highlight a moving subject by blurring the entire background while keeping the subject in focus. But do you know how to use this technique?

To understand how to do this, you first need to know one of the 3 main properties of your camera: shutter speed. When you press the shutter release, your camera lets in a certain amount of light, which then travels to the sensor. Among the factors that will define this quantity of light, shutter speed corresponds to the length of time your shutter will remain open and thus let the rays in. The longer your exposure time, the greater the quantity of light. However, there is always a disadvantage, which can also be used to your advantage (depending on your intention): slower speeds increase the risk of motion blur.

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Now that you know your shutter speed, how do you achieve a film effect? The operation is not complicated, but requires a certain degree of precision. First of all, you need a subject whose movement is ideally linear. For example, a car at constant speed on a straight, flat road. Again, ideally, position yourself at a 90-degree angle to the direction of the subject. Choose a slow speed such as 1/125 of a second, or 1/60 for the more ambitious.

As far as gestures are concerned, you’ll need to follow the subject’s path precisely and smoothly. Your movement should only be horizontal if your subject is on flat ground. Any vibration or shaking will result in unwanted vertical blur. It’s good to know that the more precise you are, the more likely you are to get photos with a sharp subject. But you’ll also stand a better chance if the direction of your lens is perfectly perpendicular to the subject you’re photographing. Now you’re ready to follow a moving subject while simultaneously triggering the shutter – practice!

Finally: once you’ve mastered this technique, forget everything that’s ideal in this article and get creative. An infinite number of photos are possible.