Freeze...or not | atlanta child photographer

April 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

I know it has been a minute since I shared some photography knowledge, but I felt now was as good of a time as any. Shutter speed. What do you know about shutter speed? Basically, shutter speed is the speed of the shutter when you take a picture. You're probably thinking "Well, duh." And the shutter is the device in a camera that allows light into your camera. So the shutter speed determines how much light will be let into your camera and for how long. The shutter speed is used in conjunction with the ISO setting and the f-stop (aperture). All these are used to help the photographer capture the type of image they desire to create.

If you want to learn more on ISO and f-stops, you can click here and here respectively, to read some previous blog posts I created on these two subjects. Moving on...shutter speed is very important when you want to be able to stop action or show a little motion blur. Don't get intentional motion blur and accidental blur confused. Accidental blur occurs when either you focus on the wrong thing or you have camera shake. Camera shake occurs when you try to handhold your camera during a very long exposure. Just the slightest movement will cause your camera to move up and down slightly, but just enough to cause some unwanted blur. So remember, in order for your image to be sharp when handholding your camera for an extended exposure, don't set your shutter speed less than the inverse of your focal length. Are you looking at your screen with the "What the heck does that mean?" face? It means that if you are photographing with a 200mm lens, your shutter speed shouldn't be any slower than 1/200 of a second. It's not a hard and fast rule per se, because only you know how steady your hands can be while you hold your camera, but it is a good rule of thumb. 

Here is an image I took on a bone-chilling evening in December. I don't know what was going on with my photog friend and I to be out in that weather to photograph from the 17th Street bridge, but we were there. I was so cold I thought I would just stiffen up at any moment and a heavy wind would just push me over the edge. It was crazy. By the time I got back to my car I sounded like Elmer Fudd with a mouthful of cotton. Anywho, my shutter speed for this particular image was 2 seconds...and yes I used a tripod. If you look closely at the red and white lines on the freeway, those are the cars traveling along the rode. If I had tried to take that without the tripod, it would look like someone's heart monitor. 

This image was one I captured at my son's track meet this past weekend. Since I wanted to completely stop action, I set my shutter speed to 1/400 of a second. I figured him doing the long jump was a more dramatic image than him just running. 

atlanta child photographerlong jump

The important thing to know about photography is that light is everything. Without light you have no photography. If you have a camera where you can set your camera settings, I would suggest that you play around with them and see what you like and don't like. Just have fun with it. You may create a wonderful work of art! I guess you can create a blurry mess too, but we won't talk about that. 




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