Creative Moving Bodies Photoshoot

Learn how to take creative dance and portrait photography to a new level with this fascinating live show, where Karl demonstrates how to use long exposures to capture artistic images of human movement.

This show includes multiple different techniques for photographing motion, including using continuous LED lighting to capture motion blur; using sequenced flash bursts; using sequenced flash bursts while moving the camera; using continuous light combined with sequenced flash bursts, and using continuous light combined with one key light and sequenced flash bursts.

Throughout this session, you’ll gain an understanding of the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and flash, how to give creative direction to your model, and how to balance your lighting for the most creative results.

Topics covered in this show include:

  • Photographing motion using continuous light and/or studio flash
  • How to capture motion blur using continuous light
  • Techniques for freezing a moving subject
  • Tips for photographing on black backgrounds
  • Understanding first curtain flash and second curtain flash
  • Using slow shutter speeds with studio flash

For more information on the relationship of shutter speed and aperture to flash, and first and second curtain flash, please watch this class.

Further information and tips on how to photograph models and motion can be found many of our other classes, including:

If you have any questions about this show, please post in the comment section below.


  1. Great video. Is is possible to do this with a faster moving subject? If I wanted to capture a tennis serve, for example… would I need to increase my ambient light since there will be less build up in a faster moving subject?

    1. Yes exactly but it would require a lot of ambient light or a faster ISO and larger aperture or both.

  2. Hi Karl and Team!
    Great workshop as always! I missed the live but i watched later. I have a question…is possible to use white background for long exposure technique as we have the right clothes contrast? Can we reproduce this shots with the white background?

    1. Hi, you have to think about the physics of what is happening. We made the model stand out by making the edge of her lighter than the black background. You can’t make the edge of her lighter than an already white background. If she’s darker than the background then she’ll stand out a bit but a white background will then shine through the dark bits washing them out and making them look grey or flat.

  3. Hi Karl, fantastic workshop!!! Many thanks. I can’t help thinking that this technique reminds me other light painting techniques. What I mean is that in light painting you record light emanating from a moving subject that produces the light itself, whereas in this one you record light tha bounces off the moving subject.
    Regardless who or what produces the light, it is all about a moving subject emanating light, either produced or reflected. Am I wrong? Apologies if the explanation does not really make sense…

  4. Hi Karl, another great video thank you.
    In order to reduce the build up of light in the model’s legs, could you have used a grad neutral density filter to reduce the light at the bottom of the frame, and slide it down for the rest of the exposure? Trying to find alternative solutions to having two assistants lifting flags, which I don’t have.
    Alternatively, would turning the LED lights on immediately after the flash burst work? If they are both plugged in to the same switch that could be just as quick as lifting the cardboard?
    Many thanks

    1. Hi Steph, yes both of those techniques have merit if you have enough time and hands to do it. What’s good is you are thinking exactly along the right lines in terms of the physics of things. Black velvet on the floor would have helped too in reducing the floor exposure. Grids on the back LEDs could also be another option.

  5. Loved this video, right up the ally of the kind of art I would like to create more of…
    Do you know of any other software or flash setups that have the ability to pre set and control the flash speeds in the way you do with the broncolor application?
    Looking to invest in a versatile lighting set up and do want this ability, however am afraid broncolor is a little out of the budget for now.

    1. Hi & Thank you, I’m not sure exactly what the broncolor Siros prices are right now but I think they are competetive for these functions. I’m not sure of any other brands that offer the same tech for less but as I pointed out in the show it is very simple and possible to set two different groups of flashes up on two different independent triggers and then fire the triggers by hand repetitively or individually. Pocket Wizard have some high functioning triggers.

  6. Hi Karl, just a clarification, I’m only starting to watch your video but you said to correct the light from the moduling bulbs on the studio flash with a CTO gel, I’m afraid it needs CTB gel to increased the temperature from 3200K to 5500 CTO with dicrese it from 5500 to 3200.
    This is not a critique it’s just a point so that some won’t get confused.
    Many thanks for all the videos I appreciate it.

  7. Karl, If you take manual control of the opening and closing of the shutter by placing the camera in bulb, this would allow you to use second curtain flash and close the shutter immediately after the model comes to rest in the pose you have both chosen at the end of the sequence. Wouldn’t this give you a more distinct and properly exposed main image amongst the blur?

    1. Hi Paul, no I’m afraid that wouldn’t make any difference because the build up of light in any area would be the same. It’s only if you choose an area for the model to start (or end) and then ensure that she moves elsewhere in the image. Essentially throughout these type of exposures you are creating multiple exposures and/or a continuous build up of light, that doesn’t change with first of second curtain sync.

  8. Hi Karl and Team.

    I watched this live and now I’m rewatching it to get a better understanding on some areas. With the first shot of Brittney, Karl comments that he feels the shot is overexposed and stops down the aperture from f/11 to f/16. Since he was making a one stop change, couldn’t this have been done with either lowering the lights or the ISO as well?

    With most of the other classes, Karl states he doesn’t like adjusting the aperture because he wants the specific look that aperture setting gives and adjusting it will either increase or decrease depth of field. With a medium format camera, are there changes that occur in the image when adjusting the ISO? My understanding is that there should be no changes to the image by adjusting the ISO which is what caught me by surprise.

    My thought process, once envisioning the shot and making my original settings, is adjust lighting, then ISO, then aperture. Am I missing something here or just overthinking it?

    1. Hi Eric, in answer to your first question: Yes but I benefit from greater depth of field by stopping down and that gives the model more freedom of movement and making sure she stays sharp in the shot. In answer to your second question: I actually already knew I was going to shoot at f16, I started the show at f11 to show people the affected exposure. Increasing ISO has the disadvantage of increasing noise/grain in the image. You are overthinking it. Think Aperture first, ISO as low as possible and lighting. If the lighting can’t go bright enough then consider increasing the ISO by one stop or so but if you go above 800ISO you will start to see significant noise in the image.

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