Saturday, 21 January 2012

Exposure And Shutter Speed

Today's Article is all about Shutter Speeds and Exposures, The first thing you need to know, is that all cameras have a sensor, and the sensor is what the light hits to produce your image, but the light needs to pass through a shutter, and the amount of time a shutter is open, to allow light to hit the sensor for, is called shutter speed, or exposure time!

 The longer the shutter is open for, more light will hit the sensor, making for a brighter image, and  of course that would mean if the shutter is open for a short amount of time, the photo becomes darker!

Shutter speeds can be a pain though.  When you have your camera on automatic, it will put the shutter speed up, to get better low light performance, but if the subject, or the camera moves, your photo will be blurry, yet if your shutter speed is too low, the photo will be too dark, (under exposed).

You can also get many cool effects when messing about with shutter speeds, the most common one, is light painting!   To do this, first set your camera up on a tripod, then you must make sure your aperture is as high as possible, ie. f/22 , f/29 and then set your exposure time to anything from a couple of seconds or, use a "bulb" setting, which means the shutter is open as long as the shutter button is pressed (you may need a remote for bulb exposure, as you may wobble the camera and create blurry photos)  Then find a light, and press the shutter button to take the photo, and while the shutter is open, write something with the light, the light will leave a trail in the photo, so what you write will be in the photo, like in the photo below!

I did the above photo using my phone, but any light source should work, you may also need to mess around with the aperture depending on how bright your light is, if it is a very bright light, then your aperture must be high, if it is quite weak, make it lower as appropriate.
You can also use the light painting technique to create car trails, like in the picture at the start of the article!

A high shutter speed is also good when shooting water, as it will make the water softer, and have a greater aesthetic quality!

However, a slow shutter speed isn't going to work when taking photos of fast objects, if you want to record sports, or any other fast moving activity, use a faster shutter speed to capture it without blurring! 

Thanks for reading, and happy photographing! 


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