Using Slow Shutter Speed to Show Motion
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Most of the advice you can read online will tell you to work with a shutter speed that’s short enough to ensure sharpness and remove motion blur. That is unless you’re shooting landscapes in which case you should use a tripod and it’s ok to use longer shutter speeds.
This is the kind of thinking that I believe limits creativity. It’s kind of a black or white thinking with no room in between. After actually spending some time shooting different subjects in various conditions, you’ll come to realize that things are a little bit different.
Adding motion to your shots can bring a great deal of impact. Obviously it depends on the subject because not all things look good photographed in motion. From my experience, the most dramatic way to use motion in photography is to put it in contrast with something still, something sharp and in focus.
(Success Tip:The easiest way to learn photography when you have little time to spare)
Naturally, the best way to take these kind of shots is with a tripod, but unfortunately a lot of the opportunities for these spectacular contrasts come and go very quickly and unexpectedly. That’s why you should ready yourself for some handheld action. There are, as I'm sure you know, a limited number of longer shutter speeds you can use while shooting handheld. This of course depends on the photographer, as some can shoot with a 200mm lens at 1/8th and get sharp images, while others can’t go longer that 1/25th. Shooting at this kind of shutter speed will require you to take some measures for stability; otherwise the part of the frame that should be sharp will be blurred as well. You can lean against a wall or use a table to stabilize your elbows for instance. Always remember to hold your breath during the exposure and if you have a stabilizing system in your camera or lens, use it because it could make the difference.
Here is photographer Bryan Peterson with the perfect demonstration in a video for Adorama TV.