Assignment: Motion

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Assignment: Motion

As Bryn Campbell (1978, p. 52) wrote:

The illusion of movement can be exaggerated or even created. The progress of an action can be analysed within one or a series of photographs. Finally, there is what one might call the personality of movement-grace, tension, effort and even humour. It is a rich area, both in black and white and colour.

Photography is the art of freezing motion in meaningful and beautiful ways. Capturing movement sometimes requires the photographer to react quickly with exact timing. Motion can be one element of a complex composition, as in the photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson we studied this week, or can be the single dominant element of a composition.

There are two basic ways of capturing movement in a photograph, based on shutter setting. A fast shutter speed will freeze movement at a given point in the frame. A slower shutter speed will record movement as a blur. The choice of what shutter speed to use depends on the meaning, look, or sensation the photographer is trying to convey.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review Chapter 7 in your course text, The Photographer’s Eye.
  • Choose one technique from this week’s reading to apply to your composition of a photograph representing motion.
  • Review the articles in this week’s Learning Resources
  • Apply one technique from this week’s readings to convey a sense of motion in your photograph.
  • Compose and take the photograph.

The Assignment:

  • Create a PowerPoint presentation that includes the following:
    • apply one technique from this week’s reading to the composition of a photograph representing motion.
    • Include a brief description of your photograph (title and subject).
    • Write a 3– to 4-paragraph description of the technique you chose from this week’s reading. Explain how you applied this technique in the composition of your photograph. Include answers to the following:
      • How effective do you think you were at achieving your photographic goal?
      • What might you do differently next time?
  • Be sure to cite at least one example from the course readings to support your writing.


Freeman, M. (2013). The photographer’s eye: Graphic guide: Instantly understand composition & design for better digital photos. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.

  • Chapter 7, “Motion” (pp. 122–137)

Rowse, D. (n.d.). A beginner’s guide to capturing motion in your photography. Retrieved from
In this article, the author explains not only how to capture motion, but why a photographer might strive to capture motion in photography.

Suler, J. (n.d.). The psychology of the “decisive moment.” Retrieved from
In this article, Suler explains the impact of Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” theory on photography.

The following websites comprise galleries that allow you to experience the fundamental elements of photographic art.

Rigal, J. (2012). André Kertész, Meudon, 1928. Retrieved from

Cartier-Bresson, H. (1932).Gare Saint Lazare.[Photograph]. Retrieved from

Required Media

Cartier-Bresson, H. (2014, March 13). Pen, brush and camera [Video file]. Retrieved from
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 50 minutes.

Optional Resources

Whelan, R. (2002). Robert Capa in love and war. Retrieved from


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