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Week 1 - Shutter Speed (TV)

Week 1

This week we are looking at Shutter speeds.  The shutter speed controls the durations of the exposure.  It is the length of time the shutter is open and where light can get in through your sensor.

Less light 1/1000 sec - freeze action
More light 1 sec - artistic blurs

Our exercises in class this week was to play around with different shutter speeds.  It’s my first time using a proper tripod and I must say it’s a wee bit more sturdy and fiddly then the budget ones I’ve used before.  It’s a bit daunting setting up a shot with all this fresh info churning around in my head.  On top of it all there’s a knob for everything on this darn tripod – eek!!! i feel for my poor models having to wait patiently while i sort it all out.  Sorry guys!

 Anyway here are some examples of shots at varied shutter speeds I've taken during the week.

Still portraits

Shutter speed: 1/80", f/10
Shutter speed: 1", f/36
As you increase the size of your aperture, you let more light into your image sensor.  This requires a shorter shutter speed.  You can see in the above the photos the aperture sizes chosen by the camera are relatively small.  As the shutter speed slows down more light comes into the camera.

 Moving Shots

These are examples of fast shutter speeds used to freeze motion
Shutter speed: 1/250", f/5.6

Shutter speed: 1/250", f/6.3
These are example of slow shutter speeds used to capture motion blur
Shutter speed: 1/30", f/11
Shutter speed: 1/5", f/11
 As the shutter speed becomes slower, where there is rapid movement the motion is captured as a motion blur.  The bottom photo highlights the fact that i needed to place my camera on a tripod - yes Caryline i hear you - "remember to use a tripod for shutter speeds under 1/60th second"

Panning shot

Panning a camera results in a motion similar to that of someone shaking their head from side to side (wikipedia)
Shutter speed: 1/30", f/14
Shutter speed: 1/10", f/18

 My panning shots were a bit of a fail, i'm not 100% sure if i was doing it right - so i definitely need to practice this.  Above are the practice shots that we did in class, from what i remember if i do this panning shot right my subject should be in focus.
f/8, 1/20, ISO 100
This is one of my attempts, she got a bit bored of me and trotted off.  
f/14, 1/60, ISO 100

f/22, 1/60, ISO 100
I got my subject to run back and forth


  1. You are right about the panning shots needing to have the subject in focus. You could try asking your model to move quicker to that you can blur out the background with the panning movement. Often with these photos your subject will be softer than usual but so long as it is sharper than the background then it will stand out.

  2. I really like the photo of the rugby game Sepa. You've captured the action really effectively. It is a little bit soft and next class we should sit down and take a look at the settings for this photo to see how you can achieve sharper results next time. The framing is successful and I like how the inclusion of the guy on the ground on the right leads your eyes to the side of the frame and then back in again to the action in the middle


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