Oh Jeeze….

I’m supposed to head up to my family’s house today (actually leaving in an hour (4.5 hour train is better than driving!)) and I wanted to get some shots from the train window, but I seem to have lost my one memory card for my 2 cameras.

I hate having complete “moving stuff amnesia”, especially right before I leave somewhere for a week or two.  At least I remembered to bring my laptop and the cord and to charge my iTouch.

I know it’s late to ask for this trip, but does anyone have any tips/ideas for shooting out a moving vehicle?


6 thoughts on “Oh Jeeze….

  1. Hi there,

    You won’t get this before you leave, but… on the train you’ll be shooting through (most likely) a dirty window, so use a wide open aperture so the dirt doesn’t show up in the image.

    Some people like to use fast shutter speeds to freeze things, others like to use slow speeds (relatively) to blur things. I guess it depends on the subject and your taste.


    • I can still use these tips on the way down. The train was so packed, even if I posted this in time I couldn’t have used the tips.

      So, would you suggest I put the camera on (S)hutter priority and wide aperture? Should the ISO be pretty high or the highest?

  2. I know that this isn’t the answer that you are looking for, but it depends.

    If what you want is to freeze action and get images with no blur, than “the camera on (S)hutter priority… the ISO be pretty high or the highest…” might give you that.

    Keep in mind in shutter priority the camera will set the aperture and my original point was if there is dirt on the window, the smaller the aperture, the more likely you are to see the dirt in the image. Which is fine, but you might spend a lot of time cleaning up the image in post.

    Also keep in mind that the closer the subject is to the window, the faster it will move by so a faster shutter speed is needed. The further away the subject is, the slower it passes by the window.

    If I were trying for a sharp images, I would put the camera in manual. With the lens at f5.6 or so (if there is dirt on the window) and a shutter speed of at least 1/250 or 1/500. I would put the ISO in automatic and let the camera choose it based on the light.

    But it is difficult for me to say. I don’t know what kind of camera/lens you are using. I don’t know what kind of depth of field you would like. I don’t know what you are trying to capture from the train.

    My advice is to not go for sharp images. Try using relatively slow shutter speeds (just fast enough to avoid camera shake) and get some motion blur in the image. I think that would be better suited to the situation and you’ll be happier with the results.


    • I should have mentioned that when I got my camera, I stopped working in auto 🙂

      My camera is a Nikon D5000 and the lens I’ll be able to use would probably be my kit lens (18mm-55mm).

      The train ride will be roughly 4 hours, 30 minutes, so I will take everything you and anyone else says and try it all. I mean, I literally have nothing else on the train to do besides sleep, 🙂

      About the sharp images I want to take, there are probably only 4 instances where I want to take them because they are of these houses that look like they come from a painting. I could live with motion blur in everything else.

      What would you call a relatively slow shutter speed? I mean, for this.

      • “What would you call a relatively slow shutter speed?”

        Whatever is the minimum shutter speed for your camera and lens. I don’t know the Nikon D5000, but I’d guess about 1/30 at 18mm and 1/80 at 55mm. You want the image to be blurry because the subjects are moving, not because the camera is shaking.

        I had some time today and thought this would be a interesting exercise, so I went out and shot a some images myself. You can see them on my blog at:


        All of these images were shot at 24mm, 1/60, f4, ISO 100 with a ND filter to lower the light level.

  3. Pingback: Motion blur shot from the train «

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