Shutter Speed | Summer Photo Challenge08.28.12

Sorry for the delay but it is that time of year:) I am sure that you are all getting into the swing of back-to-school so not certain how much you will be picking up cameras to play after this long weekend. I will put up the last “Summer Photo Challenge” post on ISO before the long weekend so that you can practice a bit more.

In this post I am going to look at another variable of the equation of light – shutter speed. Shutter speed determines how long the shutter is open and in turn how much light hits the sensor. It is is shown on your camera as a number like 60, 300 and up to 8000. This is actually 1/60th of a second, 1/300th of a second and 1/8000 of a second. With 1/8000 being significantly faster than 1/60th and letting way less light in. The other factor that is determined with the shutter speed in motion and how it is captured. If you would like to slow motion, you will want a slower shutter speed so that the shutter stays open longer to allow motion to occur through the image. If you would like to stop motion, you will want a fast shutter speed. Here is an example of stopping and capturing motion. You can see how without anything else changing, the aperture must change to accommodate the slower shutter speed from the first to the second picture.
It is important to note that typically anything slower than 1/60 will see some motion if you are hand holding your camera and not using a tripod or monopod. There are some amazing effects that you can produce using the long exposure range of your camera (slow shutter speeds) but for our purposes, we will just look at being handheld.

As in any image that you are producing, you will want to consider the story that you want to tell so that you can get the desired effect. To illustrate, I am going to use three image I took at the Redlands Classic (an international bike race in the spring).  I was just there with my family hanging out and at the time did not know that I would use them to illustrate a point so they are not as perfect as I would like.  I have commented where I would have improved on two of the images though.  I still think that they illustrate my points though:).

The first image (f 4, shutter 1/800, ISO 200) was stopping the action so that we could see the bikers’ faces.
In the next image, I wanted to show how fast the bikers were moving past us (you can see the car faintly behind them is still (slightly blurred as I was hand held and not using a tripod as I should have been). I used f22, shutter of 1/30 and ISO 200.  _DSC8254a
In this last image, I panned with the biker (at a bit too low of a shutter speed as he should not have a halo effect on him) in an attempt to blur the background and keep him sharp. I used f 22, shutter 1/13 and ISO 200._DSC8261a

Here are a couple of other pictures from recent sessions where the client was moving and having fun and I stopped to action to capture the expression.

TOT12018 A072_DSC2700a copy

Have fun capturing some action!  Looking forward to seeing your images.

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