Motion Blur at Alcatraz

Motion Blur at Alcatraz - San Francisco, California

Motion Blur at Alcatraz – San Francisco, California

As a followup to yesterday’s post, here’s one more view of the famous prison cells at Alcatraz. I’m featuring motion blur again, but from an different angle. I made this picture in a section of the prison called Broadway, which is a main thoroughfare, to maximize the tourist blurring effect.

As is usual these days, I made this without a tripod with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II with the wide-angle Olympus 9-18mm. It’s a conveniently small setup and the in-camera image stabilization is a key feature that I use often — to make higher quality images, but also for creative effect like in today’s photo.

But there are limitations, of course. The camera is theoretically capable up to 5 stops of stabilization. With my physical steadiness, I often get closer to 4. Your mileage will vary. The new flagship E-M1X is capable up to 7 stops. And, perhaps even with my skill level, if I can get 5 or 6 stops reliably, that would make a noticeable impact.

For today’s photo, I would’ve preferred an even slower shutter to further increase the blurring effect. Instead of the 1/1.6 second shutter speed, what if I can reliably get 1 second or 2 seconds handheld with the E-M1X? I’ve heard of claims of up to 4 to 8 second clean exposures with that new camera. Hard to believe, and they’re certainly more physically stable than I, but wouldn’t that be nice.


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