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Window on Texas: Drag Shutter Photography

Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith teaches you the basics of using drag shutter photography to freeze the subject in place while blurring background motion. Recorded in Giddings, Texas.

Window on Texas, April 2013

Carousels are magical with their brilliant lights and gleaming horses. To capture the essence of Giddings’ antique carousel, Texas Highways Photo Editor Griff Smith not only had to contend with its rotating platform, but also the vertical movement of the horse.

“I wanted to give a feeling of riding the carousel by using a slow shutter speed to blur the background and a flash to stop the action of the horse,” said Smith.

The carousel, located in Firemen’s Park, is open to riders during the Lee County Fair in May and also during Giddings’ Fourth of July celebration. Giddings is 55 miles east of Austin at the intersection of US 77 and US 290. Call 979/542-3455;

Be sure to check out Texas Highways Photo Editor J. Griffis Smith's other photography how-to's covering a wide range of topics for all skill levels.

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