Sequence Photography for Beginners
This time I’ve decided to write about the relatively easy Sequence Photography technique, you can try yourself next time you’re on holiday. Despite the fact that these pictures are more popular in sports photography, you can also experiment with this technique on a smaller scale. All you need is a DSLR camera, a tripod and some basic Photoshop skills.
This kind of photography requires you to capture several pictures and then stack the layers in Photoshop. Start from selecting the right scenery. Open spaces are generally better but you can also do this indoors. Place your camera on a tripod and select the right setting. Remember, you will be capturing both slow and fast-moving objects, so the shutter speed depends on how fast your object moves. It’s absolutely crucial to use a tripod, so that every picture looks exactly the same. Obviously, you need a model for this kind of pictures, so ask one of your friends to run or move across the camera. For more ambitious projects, you can also try capturing people jumping into the water or a skateboarder sliding across the railings. I personally recommend using a wide-angle lens, in order to capture more scenery and sequences. One last thing. For faster moving objects, I recommend using your camera’s burst mode so that you will maintain regular intervals between the shots. Remember, you don’t have to use all the sequences to combine them into the final image. You may as well skip some pictures if you end up with too many sequences.
Once you have all your sequences ready, open the first picture in Photoshop. If you have used a tripod, the workflow is relatively simple as all the pictures have exactly the same background with only your object in different positions. All you need to do is put one picture on top of the other, so that you end up with two different layers in the ‘Layers’ tab on the right. Just open both images in Photoshop, then select the first image with the ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’, and simply move it with the ‘Move Tool’ onto the next image and Photoshop will automatically align the images. Then use the ‘Eraser Tool’ to erase the part of the image covering your object in the bottom layer. Finally, flatten the layers into one image and then place the next sequence on top of it and use the eraser tool again. Once you have enough sequences, just flatten the layers into the final image. One last word of advice. When shooting the sequences, try to maintain a regular interval between the shots, making sure that the position of your subject doesn’t overlap. That way, it’s way easier to stack the layers in Photoshop.
For more information on how to work with layers in Photoshop visit the following site:
For more inspiration and ideas visit the two dedicated Flickr groups:
Finally, visit this blog for stunning examples of sequence photography on the Web:
Once again thanks for reading and good luck with your first project.
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