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Learn By Doing Photography

Learn by Doing Photography – Using a Slow Shutter Speed

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Photography Assignment #4 – Using a slow shutter speed

This was a fun one to take! The perfect opportunity for a slow shutter speed opened up last night at swim lessons. I had my daughter Kat sit real still while her brother and two other friends splashed in the background. This was the only one that turned out where she actually sat still for the entire exposure… very hard for a six year old!

Settings: Canon 60d f/4 sec at f/3.5 ISO 100

Tips on using a Slow Shutter Speed:

When you use a slow shutter speed things start to get blurry, which can be a good thing! A fast shutter speed will freeze motion while a slow shutter speed will show motion.

Putting your camera on a tripod and just trying it out is the best way to see the results. Think about what you want to blur first. Are you going to try out some waterfalls, or car trails at night. I went for isolating the stationary, trying to capture motion around my daughter at the pool. Give it a try start with a faster shutter speed and work your way down until you like the motion you achieved.

Light will be your biggest challenge. Not too little, but too much! When trying to blur you will have to play with your aperture and ISO to find the sweet spot. If you’re ISO is too high you will have too much light and won’t be able to slow down the shutter speed enough for a proper exposure. Same with aperture, if you’re wide open you might end up with too much light washing out your picture.

Some photographer’s use shutter priority or manual when trying to photograph motion. I always go for aperture priority. I figure it I have my ISO at 100 and my aperture stopped down as far as it will go (set to the biggest number like f/22). That is the slowest I can expose with the shutter speed the camera indicates. So either I have to wait for it to get darker or play with the exposure compensation a bit, but it gives me a starting point to know what I can and can’t do.

A must when using a slow shutter speed is a tripod. If you don’t use a tripod when using a slow shutter speed you will end up with a blurry picture and camera shake at the same time. If you don’t have a tripod you should think about buying one. I don’t use mine everyday, but I do use it quite a bit!

Cable release is a good idea too, but you can also use the timer on your camera which works just fine.

Great Slow Shutter Speed tutorial by James Beltz:

Next Week Learn by Doing Assignment #5 – Water Droplets

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How to take a picture of a sunset or sunrise - Learn by Doing
LBD Photography - Seeing the Steam
LBD Photography - How to photograph flowers


2 Responses to “Learn by Doing Photography – Using a Slow Shutter Speed”

  1. Here it is! http://www.aprettyrock.com/re-learning-the-ropes-slow-shutter-speed/

    Hey Amy, am I working through the correct list of assignments for this year?

    Posted by Yazmin | February 7, 2013, 7:06 pm
  2. You are! I post every Friday, so tomorrow will be assignment #6…

    So you’re right there with me, which is awesome! I love seeing what your picture choice for the week is going to be:)

    Posted by admin | February 7, 2013, 8:38 pm

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