Feb 7, 2017 Session

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Our second Winter session was well attended despite the bitterly cold weather and slippery roads. Cold weather is good for indoor projects such as organizing and editing pictures, as well as  still life photography. Bill, Jim and I will spend some time developing material on “Photo Editing” over the next few weeks. From the survey we did it appears that PhotoShop Elements and Adobe Lightroom are most widely used. I will send out the survey to the full group today, and will post the results later.

Lens almost closed Aperture f/22
Shutter Speed long 1 second
Large depth of field
Grain fine ISO 100
Click on image to enlarge

Lens wide open Aperture f/4
Shutter Speed faster 1/250 sec
Shallow depth of field
Grain coarse ISO 1600
Click on image to enlarge

During the “Live View” demonstration we got to view a chessboard with chess pieces “Live” through the lens of a DSLR. This demonstration was to show the trade off between Aperture, Shutter speed and Film Speed also known as ISO. In the examples shown to the left are two extremes.

Lens iris closed down lets less light in, and thus needs a longer time exposure or a higher film speed (ISO).
Lens iris wide open lets more light in, and thus allows faster shutter speeds at lower film speed (ISO).

For most DSLR cameras as well as the more modern mirrorless cameras film speed (ISO) has only a minor effect on the “noise” of the image. Low ISO however gives the best quality picture.

Below these two images I have created a graphic that summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of the different camera settings.

I hope everyone got some idea on how “Shutter Preference” works, and some ideas on how to hold and stabilize a handheld camera. Thanks Bill for the lively demonstration!

The assignment this week is to try Shutter Preference in the real world. Try “freezing” action, and try an artful “Blur”. It is all about choosing a variety of shutter speeds and experimenting.  On Shutter Preference the camera figures out the exposure for you. Here are two examples from last fall.



  • Q & A regarding Editing Tutorials.
  • Depth of Field Presentation with composition examples.
  • Live View demonstration of the Exposure Triangle.
  • Break
  • Practice session on Shutter Priority with spinning globes, tops and swinging LED lights.

Here is an interesting simulator to practice the relationship between Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. http://camerasim.com/apps/original-camerasim/web//


34 Responses to Feb 7, 2017 Session

  1. Shauna says:

    My spinning globe picture. I deliberately took this picture into the light, in order to blow out the background, and then used Lightroom to finish the job.

    Settings: Aperture 9.0, Shutter Speed 0.4 sec (camera balanced on table), ISO 100

    • Henri says:

      Well done Shauna. I really like how you isolated the spinning globe by shooting against the light. Did you use Shutter Preference while using the “spot meter” specifically on the globe? Can you describe how you did your light metering to get the right exposure for the globe only, while washing out the background. I like how you captured the entire blurry African continent. Very effective!

      • Shauna says:

        Much of this was just dumb luck, especially capturing an identifiable African continent. I used shutter preference and took a number of pics at different shutter speeds and this was the outcome I liked the best. I did not do light metering deliberately, my light metering is set to Multi — I’m not really sure how this works so perhaps this could be covered in another lesson! The original photo had some dark’ish branches visible in the background so in Lightroom I isolated the globe and upped the highlights on everything else to get rid of them. Great fun and a great class.

  2. Jim Springer says:

    I like that this photo gives the impression of the world spinning into warp speed. Nice effect with blowing out the background to white and un-defining the sharp edges of the globe!

  3. Bill says:

    Did you post process the globe edge as Jim suggests using LR or was that how much wobble there was? Mine are all wobbly.
    I really like the creative approach you had for shooting against the light.

  4. Jim Springer says:

    Here is an example where shutter priority works well. It is a photo I took last summer of a humming bird using shutter priority at 1/4000 sec, f4.5 ISO 5000

  5. Bill says:

    If I could I would use an even faster shutter speed. My limit was 1 / 4000 s.

    • Jim Springer says:

      I could have shot this at 1/8000 sec but I’m not sure I would have gained much besides more noise from a higher ISO. Having said that, I didn’t try shooting with an ISO of 8000 or 10000 to see.

  6. Bill says:

    Here is the photo that was not included in the previous post.

    • Henri says:

      Amazing that 1/4000’s of a second was not enough to “freeze” the pattern on the outer rim. Interesting comment bubbles Bill. What software did you use to superimpose these labels?

  7. Bill says:

    The comments and all other editing done with preview on a Mac. I wonder if the blur was caused by taking only 6 mg size images? Any thoughts anybody?

    • Henri says:

      I don’t think image size has anything to do with blur. The camera shutter speed is the determining factor. The shutter curtain lets a certain amount of light photons through to the sensor. Once the shutter is is closed the camera’s computer chips process the photon counts of each sensor pixel and assemble the data into an image. That includes the blur that was recorded, which is equivalent to the length the pattern moved while the shutter curtain was open.

  8. John Mauel says:

    Ruth and I (John) went to the Olympic oval on Friday afternoon to take some action shots. There were both short-track and long track skaters training. This shot was taken to show the speedy skaters blurred, with the background sharp. It was taken at f:5 and 1/40.

  9. John Mauel says:

    This second shot was the inverse- I panned the camera to keep the skater sharp, and the background blurred, at f:3.3 and 1/100sec I’m using my Lumix DMC-ZX40 on manual, and adjusting both f-stop and shutter speed manually. Both shots were a bit dark, so I lightened them in PhotoShop Elements.

    • Henri says:

      Nice job panning at 1/100 of a second. The background is slightly blurred. These types of camera settings make for great action shots. Giving a real sense of motion while the subject stays sharp. Well done.

  10. Ruth Mauel says:

    John & I went to the Olympic Oval on Friday Feb. 10th, 2017, to take pictures of the speed skaters, to try out the two aspects, being to get pictures stopping the action with the background showing a sense of speed and for the object to have the “artistic blur” with the background in focus.
    I do not do any post-processing.
    As the picture was captured in my camera, is how it is shown.

    This picture capturing the stop-action of speed, has the following mechanical values:
    F Stop: 4
    S/S: 100
    ISO: 3200

    My camera is the Lumix FZ-1000.

    • Henri says:

      I love this action shot Ruth. The two skaters are well placed in the 1/3 portion of the frame. The slight blur of the background really enhances the sense of motion. The one improvement you could make, is cloning out the distracting skates of the third skater. That is a subject we will cover later in this course.

      • Ruth Mauel says:

        Thank you for your feedback Henri of what was good and what needs to be improved upon.

        I totally agree with you Henri, about cloning out the distracting skates of the third skater.
        I took many other pictures of the skaters.
        I debated about uploaded this picture because of the distraction of the third skater, but I won out because I liked the concentration on the skaters faces.

        In front of the first skater is a black rubber 2″ high post guide on the ice that they skate on the outside of.

        I am looking forward to the course on post-processing, I have no personal experience with.

        • Ruth Mauel says:

          Sorry about the poor grammar and word usage.
          When I am writing the story, I am thinking about 3 different ways to write the story going inside my mind, while I am typing out just one story.
          I should proof read my story before I hit the SEND button, instead after.

  11. Ruth Mauel says:

    Since I don’t know how to do any post processing, all of my pictures are as they were taken in the camera.

    This picture is showing the speed of the skaters, while the background is clear, although I admit a bit “noisy”.

    Notice that each skater is in different stages of distortion, according to location.
    The last skater, coming towards me is in better focus and the skaters passing by in front of me, with the 1st skater being in the greatest degree of distortion.

    This picture showing the speed of the skaters, has the following mechanical values:
    F-Stop: 2.8
    S/S: 60
    ISO: 400

    My camera is the Luxix FZ-1000.

  12. Henri says:

    Here is my contribution of shutter preference and semi blur. I have to admit to enhancing this picture in Photoshop. I added some motion blur with one of the blur filters.

  13. Bill says:

    Nice shot Henri. What was your preferred SS?

  14. Phil says:

    This photo of the spinning top was taken at a very fast shutter speed in an attempt to freeze the motion. Using shutter priority and the lens wide open at f/2.8, the camera automatically adjusted the ISO to 800. The focal length was 55 mm on my 17 to 55 mm zoom. Shutter speed 1/8000 sec.

    • Henri says:

      Thanks for submitting Phil, good example to show that for very fast action you need very fast shutter speeds. Not all cameras are capable of 1/8000 of a second. My old Canon’s maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 of a second.

  15. Phil says:

    This photo of the spinning globe was taken at 1/30 sec, handheld, again with the lens wide open at f/2.8. The camera was set to shutter priority and the ISO was automatically adjusted by the camera to 500 to achieve the right exposure. What is also note worthy is the fact that this crop was taken from the extreme left edge of the frame and shows how good the edge to edge sharpness of the lens is even wide open. Focal length is 55 mm on the 17 to 55 mm lens.

    • Henri says:

      That is a really good lens you have Phil!
      I like the composition showing the sharp mechanical detail of the hinge and the ruler numbers, which contrast nicely with the red blur of Australia passing by.

  16. Susan Ashley says:

    Attempts at freezing action at COP (hand held)
    1st visit
    Sony 1000; lens 55-210
    ISO 250, 210 mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec

    • Henri says:

      Very interesting composition Susan. I like how you framed the bright green jacketed snowboarder in between the chair lift elements, as well as the red line of fencing that points to the jumping skier. The horizontal lines work as well.

  17. Susan Ashley says:

    Attempts at freezing action at COP (hand held)
    2nd visit
    Canon EOS 60D, lens 70-300mm
    ISO 100, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/1250 sec

    • Henri says:

      Nice composition. I like the contrast of the subjects in the almost “high key” background. It is amazing how the eye is immediately drawn to the man’s radiant smile.

  18. Susan Ashley says:

    Attempts at freezing action at COP (hand held)
    2nd visit
    Dynamic boarder
    Canon DSL 60D, lens 70-300mm

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