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Old March 29th, 2009, 04:09 PM
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Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

Shutter speed

The shutter mechanism is what allows the light to reach your sensor (or film) for a specific amount of time. The speed controls the amount time the light is exposed to your sensor (or film). The numbers are there to guide us to the length of time the light is entering your camera. Creative use of shutter speeds are used for so many things but it’s mainly used for stop motion and/or low light situations. The numbers you see with a / on your camera indicate fractions of a second and the numbers with a " indicate numbers longer than a second. Let’s break it down just a little bit…

3" = 3 seconds of light on your sensor (film)
1" = 1 second of light...
1/2 = half a second of light...
1/30 = one-thirtieth of a second of light...
1/1000 = one-thousandth of a second of light...
and so on…

Low light situations almost always need the light to be on the sensor for longer amounts of time. Stopping motion, without blurring your subject, almost always needs the light to be on the sensor for shortest amounts of time possible. Hence the terms slow shutter speeds and fast shutter speeds: Slow shutter speeds means more time for light to be on your sensor and fast shutter speeds means less time. Simple enough, right? Well…the challenging part is using your shutter speed in conjunction with both your aperture and iso (aka: exposure triangle). These three components work hand in hand in controlling light - the one and only secret to good exposure !

Aperture (opening to allow how much light you want to come into your lens/camera)
Shutter Speed (controls the amount of time the light is exposed to your sensor)
Iso (hasn’t been covered yet: Bryan Peterson, in his ‘Understanding Exposure’ book, calls iso his ‘worker bees’ – I agree. Iso is responsible for ‘gathering’ all that light that the aperture and speed is allowing/controlling in and then records your image…we’ll speak more of it in later assignments)

This assignment is simple; I want you to experiment with your camera with low light and/or stop motion using your shutter speed. Post your outcome here and let us know your exposure information. No fuss, simple - just experiment with your numbers!

You can post any questions, concerns and/or if you want to elaborate on the basic approach I’ve taken please feel free to do so.

Below are some examples:

1st was donated by Scott111184 (Thanks Scott! She's a cutie - put a smile on my face!!) - stop motion info is f/2.8, speed 1/1250, iso 100

2nd was donated by me - stop motion info is f/5.6, speed 1/640, iso 160

Have fun – I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s progress.

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Old March 30th, 2009, 12:34 AM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

okay, here are a couple of examples...

low light requires longer shutter speeds. dusk or shade, for example, can require shutter speeds as low as 1/60 or slower. this shot, however, needed a REALLY slow shutter... taken in the shadows of Antelope Canyon, in Arizona, this image was shot with a shutter speed of 8 seconds, at f/13, ISO 200... the slow shutter has blurred the falling sand, and allowed enough light to reach the sensor so that even the shadows have some detail...



this image required a fast shutter to stop the motion of the bufflehead's wings...these little guys are fast fliers, and it takes a very short exposure - and good light! - to freeze them in flight... this was shot at 1/1600 second, f/6.3 at ISO 400...

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Old March 30th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

You also need slow shutter speed to capture that "dreamy waterfall" or other flowing water photos, as shown below:

and here
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Old March 30th, 2009, 09:38 AM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

slow shutter speeds do demand a tripod, to make sure the camera doesn't move or shake during the exposure... looks like your waterfall shot was taken hand-held? there's quite a bit of motion blur there...
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Old March 30th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

I'm pretty sure that it was not handheld, but maybe I was trying to get away without it... the exposure was 0.8 seconds.
The river was for sure shot using tripod - the exposure was 2 seconds.
The problem is that my tripod is on the list of items to be replaced
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Old March 30th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

This was so helpful
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Old March 30th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

The wind was 'rippin here today in my parts of Pennsylvania! I was able to "freeze frame" our (USA) glorious flag hanging high above our Veteran's Memorial.

1/1250 sec, f 6.3, ISO 400 @ 90mm.
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Last edited by FrameofMind; March 30th, 2009 at 02:17 PM.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

Great examples everyone. I'll try my best to get one up.
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Old March 30th, 2009, 09:58 PM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

Soccer Image was shot at 1/1250, f/5 ISO 200/

Dog image at 1/50. f/22, ISO 100
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Old March 30th, 2009, 10:07 PM
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Re: Assignment 4: Shutter Speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean McC View Post
Soccer Image was shot at 1/1250, f/5 ISO 200/

Dog image at 1/50. f/22, ISO 100
Cool shots Sean
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