How I took the shot – pousse pousse man

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Since I am kind of in the Madagascar mood lately anyway, I figured I share a photo I took ages ago when we were traveling in Madagascar. This particular image was shot in Ambositra on a fairly bright but overcast day in the ‘city’. I had taken a few shots before of the man running around with the carts but they were all too sharp. I wanted to see some of the movement and show the speed with which these guys run.

Now the challenge in these circumstances is to get a shutterspeed slow enough to get that movement in and to move along with your subject while pressing the shutter. This does take a bit of practice but it’s fun and if you have the time, there is no harm done if you have to delete all of them again at some point.. 😉 This was the only one I thought worthy of keeping.

This image is shot with my old Canon EOS 10D (my first digital camera! Yay!) with lens 28-135mm. Settings ISO 100 at 1/15s and an apurture of f19.

Now the biggest challenge here was to get a slow enough shutterspeed. Even stopping the aperture down to f19 only gave me 1/15 of a second in shutterspeed. A ND filter would help in these situations, but I tend to try and travel light so anything I hardly ever use stays home. That includes any filters. The moving along part of the photo is the tricky part. I tend to already focus where I think my subject will pass when I shoot the final image and leave it there while I search (not moving!) for my subject. Once I have him in my frame I start following along with my camera and once in the right spot I press the shutter. All the while I continue to follow the subject with my camera until I am pretty sure that my camera has finished the process. Depending on your shutterspeed that might be rather long.

I’ve shot images at weddings with shutterspeeds ranging from 1 to 2 seconds and that means you’ll be staring at a black shutter for a loooong time (1 second is very long, trust me..) but it can be fun to do.

And it might save you when in darker light conditions but I’ll try and explain more on that in a later post.

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Written by
Simone van den Berg

Travelling makes my heart beat just a little faster. Ever since I can remember I have wanted to discover the world and experience other cultures. Ever since our first far away trip to Mexico in 1997 I love to explore outside of Europe. Having said that: there is so much to see closer to home still! Combining travel with delicious food is the ultimate combination as far as I'm concerned. Of all my travels I have kept journals. That's why this site is called 'Paper Travels"

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Written by Simone van den Berg