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Learn By Doing Photography

Learn by Doing – Now to use Shutter Priority

Assignment #23 – Use Shutter Priority and take any picture, and freeze the action!

Last week I asked the question…. What next, what do you want to learn next. @Ami had the great idea to focus on shutter priority.  Thanks!

So Saturday I took my daughter to the park and had her jump off anything and everything. She was more than thrilled with the challenge!

If you have Canon change your dial to TV, Nikon to S and if you’re using something else change your dial to the shutter priority dial. On to shutter speed… Shutter speed controls the amount of time the light is coming through the lens another way to say that would be the amount of time that the shutter is open. If you change your shutter speed from 1/500 to 1/60 sec you are increasing the amount of time the light is coming through the lens which increases the time your shutter is open. If you want to freeze motion you want a faster shutter speed.

A couple things to think about when thinking about shutter speed. If you’re holding your camera you probably don’t want to be below 1/60th of second anything slower might result in camera shake. Camera shake is when your camera moves a bit while the shutter is open with an end result of blur in your pictures. So if you go below 1/60th think about using a tripod.

  • Here is an interesting note I just read about… You need to think about focal length when deciding what shutter speed to use. Always use a shutter speed that is faster than the focal length of your lens. For instance if using a 50mm you want at least 1/60th to avoid camera shake if your using a 200mm lens you want to increase that to 1/250th.

When thinking creatively about your shutter speed. You will have to decide if you want to freeze the motion which will result in a higher shutter speed or blur the subject giving a sense of motion to your images. To freeze motion you want a higher shutter speed. In my photo above I used 1/320th for one and 1/500th for the other. If you want to imply motion you would want a much slower shutter speed.

First let me back up and explain the difference between all the different creative zones

  • Program Mode (P) The camera automatically sets the shutter and aperture you still have some control over the ISO, drive mode, built in flash and a few more. The camera is still deciding creatively what it thinks you’re going for
  • Shutter Priority (TV) You adjust the shutter speed while the camera adjusts the aperture. You control motion, you decide if you want to freeze the motion or slow down to blur your motion.
  • Aperture Priority (AV) You adjust the aperture while the camera adjusts the shutter speed. You control depth of field, you decide if you want the background out of focus or the entire picture in focus.
  • Manual (M) It’s all you!

Found this great video posted by OrangeBoxPhotography

Remember you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on DigitalCamFan FaceBook wall. If you have questions about “Learn By Doing” Please refer to the guideline page. If you have no questions post away!


Related posts:

Assignment #8 - Bring on the light!
Learn by Doing Photography - Aperture
LBD Photography - Seeing the Steam


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