One-half second exposure should work for a subject with a brisk walking pace. Time the shutter opening with the planting of the foot on the ground. Dark clothing and a light background will complete the effect.
Looking again, I think this was one shot. The top-down view shortened pedestrian's form. Appears to be wearing suede jacket, swinging arms, possibly holding a paper. Some dark-ish collar or scarf. Grey hair.
This may take some staging to re-create what originally was a planned, fortunate shot.
A fast walk (about 4 mph) is about 120 steps per minute; that means the right and left feet each move 60 times per minute. A slow walk would be about 30 times a minute. So a 1 second exposure sounds about right.
For a slow walk (2 miles per hour) the walkers head would move about 3 feet in 1 second
Last edited by Prof_Pixel; 08-18-2012 at 09:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: Added head movement calculation
I've seen the effect put to use in the recent past (2000s) in press photos that have won in some of the prestigious national contests (but which I cannot source, to some frustration). These pictures are very similar to the one the OP inquires about.. I doubt very, very much that the image in question is anything more than simply what has been presented - a well (or fortuitously) timed and slow exposure.
Really, this is Tri-X, on a miserable, rainy day. If I remember correctly, shot at 1/15 or thereabout, handheld of course If you notice, all feet can be seen firmly planted and distinguishable, but the bodies of all beings on the left are not. They were walking fast to escape the rain. The only manipulation here is the heavy burning in and high contrast to emphasize the feeling of movement and the person sitting on the bench in the middle, perfectly still.