Oct 10, 2017 Session

This Digital Photography session will be about Shutter Speed preference. Bill and Jim will lead this session with theory, demonstrations and a practice session where Bill will give a racing bike sprint performance. We will also study long time exposure, so we advise you to bring a tripod along if you have one.

So study up a bit in advance. Have a look at your camera manual, and figure out how to put your camera in “Shutter Preference” or “Sports” mode. For very long time exposures you might want to see if your camera has “Bulb” or “B” mode. Below are two videos to prepare yourself to get the most out of this session.

For video 1 click here

For video 2 click here

I will prepare more content for this page, when I have downloaded my photos and conferred with Bill and Jim.

The page is now open for submissions.

Bill found this excellent website that gives a lot of detail on the subject of shutter speed https://www.davemorrowphotography.com/shutter-speed-chart

Here is a quick rundown on what Bill covered during the Oct 10 session.
Thanks Bill for your excellent performance on the job and the write up you gave below.

Tack sharp Pictures in low light, such as indoors, or outdoors later at night.
As a rule of thumb, you cannot expect to hand hold your camera and get sharp images for  shots with shutter speeds slower than 1 divided by the length of the lens. e.g. lens length 200 mm then the slowest handheld shutter speed 1/200 sec.

Maintain a stable camera by:

  1. use a tripod or shorter triangle base of support like a gorillapod with cable or remote shutter release. Or set shutter to release 2 or more seconds after depressing the shutter button.
  2. use a monopod with cable or remote shutter release. Or set shutter to release 2 or more seconds after depressing the shutter button.
  3. use a sturdy cord from base of camera to underneath the forward foot.

Note: If your camera has optical image stabilization be sure that it is activated when shooting hand held and NOT turned on when on a tripod as the system will be in a state of constantly searching leading to less than tack sharp images.

When none of the above is available, use good body mechanics as follows:

  1. hold camera with left hand under not over the lens.
  2. maintain stable base with weight equally distributed on both feet one foot slightly ahead of the other and a wide stance.
  3. pull your arms in tightly to your ribs.
  4. place the viewfinder against your glasses or eyebrow so now movement is possible between your face and the rear of the camera. ( this is why many photographers insist their camera have a viewfinder not just a rear screen.)
  5. if kneeling on one leg keep your left foot flat in front and place your left elbow on the left knee. Upper body remains the same as in standing
  6. if sitting place both feet flat on the floor and elbows on the same side knee. Upper body remains the same as in standing
  7. if lying down prop elbows out in front and maintain camera / face connections as above.

The difference between Bad or No Stance and Good Solid Stance
Both image were taken at 1/15 sec, f/11 and ISO 200

Sometimes there are situations you might want to use slow shutter speed on purpose  An example might be to get a feeling of motion. Here is a picture that Ruth took last winter at the Speed skating Oval. Beside the tilt of the skaters, the blurred background adds to the feeling of action.

Action – by: Ruth

At other times you might want a slow shutter speed to show the flow of water at a river or waterfall for instance.

Left picture was taken at 1/250 sec the right one was 1.5 sec with neutral density filter.
Click to enlarge, use browser back button to return here

To achieve very slow shutter speeds during daylight conditions, you can add a neutral density filter. These are like “smoked” glass and reduce the amount of light coming into the lens. They are available in several levels of darkness called “stops”. Either a threaded filter that screws into the lens ring or a clip-on or  slide arrangement with multiple filter options, like Jim showed us at the Rosedale session.

The other way to get a slow shutter speed is to lower the ISO (sensor sensitivity) setting on your camera. Check your camera manual on how to do this. Most camera have a “ISO” button on the top of the camera that brings up the ISO choices on the LCD screen of your camera. Low ISO settings such as 100 allow you to have slower shutter speeds. High ISO settings are used in poor lighting conditions, so your shutter speeds stays reasonably fast when you don’t have a tripod, and want to take sharp pictures hand held.

18 Responses to Oct 10, 2017 Session

  1. Henri says:

    Here is my first submission of Bill zooming down the back alley. The camera is on shutter preference, set at 1/15 second. This way the camera decides the film sensitivity (in this case ISO 200) and Aperture (in this case f/11). I made sure to keep Bill in the center of the image as I rotated from my hip holding my arms tight against my chest and my feet firmly planted in the stance Bill so expertly demonstrated. Not bad, you can even read the lettering on the bike frame.

  2. Henri says:

    Here is an example of doing it wrong. In this case I did not have any stance, camera just held very loose without arms tucked in. And of course I did not rotate, just pressed the shutter as bill zoomed by. Again Shutter Speed Preference set at 1/15 second, ISO 200 and f/9.5 with no attention to holding the camera steady as you can see from the slightly blurry leaves on the tree.

  3. Loral says:

    Here is my contribution from the CALL Digital Photography October 10 Practice Shoot at Rosedale.

  4. Greg Tompkins says:

    I missed the class but practised shutter priority on my own the first pic is flowing water in a small creek, the second is the same spot in the creek with a much slower shutter speed. Both pics are with a 18-105 zoom

    pic #1 shot with iso 100, 105mm, f7.1 and 1/125 shutter speed

  5. Greg Tompkins says:

    pic #2 iso 100, 105 mm, f7.0 shutter 1/15 the flowing water is more blurred

  6. Greg Tompkins says:

    the last picture is similar to the bicycle shots but involves a truck . the background is totally blurred and only the truck is in focus. this was hand held and twisting my body from left to right

    iso 100, 62 mm f29 and shutter speed 1/10

    • Henri says:

      A great picture Greg. I like the warm red colour of the truck in the muted colours of the bacground. What makes this picture really nice are the complementary colours. Cool blue in the sky and in the cool whitish reflections in the lower part, buffered by the greens and brown. The dark brown line just below the truck and the line contrasting the sky give this picture balance.

  7. Ron says:

    Sorry I missed the session on Tuesday. Just back from Ottawa where I attempted to photograph my grandson as he was coming face first down a slide in the playground. I was not able to catch his face and hat totally sharp, but I still quite like the shot as he is obviously enjoying himself and looking directly into the camera. It was taken using an 18-55 mm zoom lense set at 43 mm, ISO 100, aperture f/25, shutter speed 1/6. Perhaps a slightly faster shutter speed would have made it better? I did a bit of cropping and shadow removal using iPhoto.

    • Henri says:

      Great picture Ron. I love the complementary colours as well. I love how you have captured the expression and given this picture the feeling of action with just enough blur. Well done!

  8. Ron says:

    Here’s an example of a long “bulb” exposure – Canada Day fireworks taken from Crescent Road. I used a tripod and remote shutter release. Lense was 18-55 mm zoom set at 27 mm, but I realized afterwards I should have been using my long telephoto, so I ended up doing a major crop to create this small view of a much bigger photo. Settings were ISO 100, f/8, with the shutter open for 4.3 seconds.

  9. Dave Arnold says:

    here is one of Bill zipping by on his bike. 1/15 at f10 zoom lens set at 100 mm

  10. Dave Arnold says:

    I think I prefer another Bill / bike shot without the horizontal fence line going through his head

    • Henri says:

      I really like the color contrasts on this picture Dave. The bright red and the complementary cool blue colors, make this picture stand out. I agree with you that from a composition perspective it could be improved. But then there is always something in action shots that is distracting, unless it is a very carefully staged photoshoot.

  11. Dorte says:

    Another photo of Bill. Shutter preference 1/40 ISO 100 Aperture 5.6
    The back ground could be a more blurry. I think the bike is quite sharp.

  12. Geoff Turner says:

    Another photo of Bill. Shutter at 1/50, f 10, ISO 400

  13. Ruth Mauel says:

    John & I went on a cruise to Antarctica in Feb. 2016.
    Every evening there is stage entertainment.
    I focused my camera, with a high shutter speed, on the front area where each dancer was coming forward to show their unique moves.
    This energetic fellow did a jump and knee bend that was higher, more complicated and faster than the naked eye could catch or appreciate.

  14. Ruth Mauel says:

    North of High Level, Alberta, the Dene Tha people held their annual Assembly, this year in Meander River from June 29th to July 02nd, 2017.
    The singers & drummers were warming their moose hide drums and purifying them with the smoke, all of which is a sacred time.
    The sacred time was broken by an exuberant child running about.
    ISO: 400, 1/60 sec. f/2.8 9.12 mm

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