Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

I love photography and always enjoy an opportunity to learn more about my camera and the art of photography itself.  Thanks to The Crafty Wife, I and other photo loving ladies are getting some free lessons on how to put our DSLRs to their best use.

This lesson is all about shutter speed.  What is shutter speed?  The teachers at NoBadFoto.com tell us this:

The shutter speed controls the amount of time that the shutter curtain is left open. – See more at: http://www.nobadfoto.com/understanding-exposure-3.html#s1

In other words, this setting controls how much “motion” you will catch in a still photo.  That sounds a little weird, doesn’t it?  Let’s look at a few of my lesson photos to explain. When the shutter speed is set to a slow pace, such as 1/4 of a second, running water looks like this:

f22-1 over 4-400iso-faucet

f22 1/4 shutter speed 400iso

There is not a lot of detail in the water and when it hits the sink:

f22-1 over 4-400iso-sink

f22 1/4 shutter speed 400iso

It shows up like a puddle instead of running water.  Now let’s hike up the speed to 1/1000 of a second and see what happens.

f3.5-1 over 1000-1600iso-faucet 3

f3.5 1/1000 shutter speed 1600 iso

There are a lot more details in the water and you start to see individual droplets instead of one continuous running stream.

f3.5-1 over 1000-1600iso-sink

f3.5 1/1000 shutter speed 1600 iso

See all of the extra detail in the water.  Now imagine if that was a person or animal running.  If you want a clear shot of their “motion”, you need to speed up the shutter to catch them in action.  I decided to turn my camera all of the way up to 1/3200 of a second just to see what it would look like.

f3.5-1 over 3200-3200iso-faucet

f3.5   1/3200 shutter speed 3200 iso

There is even more detail, but the lighting becomes harder to perfect at this speed, especially indoors. So, what have I learned?  I now know the next time I want to take motion or action shots to crank up that shutter speed if I don’t want any blur.  Of course, if I am shooting running water and want that smoky look, I will need to really slow it down and hold the camera very steady to reduce shakiness. 

This has been a great lesson and I so appreciate The Crafty Wife for hosting these tutorials.

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Who has an awesome DSLR, but still doesn’t really know how to use it to its best advantage?  That would be me!  I have always wanted to take an in-depth photography class, but there just isn’t many offered in my area so when Crafty Wife started The Photo Ladies group for us DSLR novices, I jumped at the chance.  Where can you get tons of good information and challenging lessons for free? 

Crafty Wife is using classes from nobadfoto.com and the first one is on aperture.  If you are like me and you’re really not sure what aperture is, here is their definition:

“Aperture: the size of the opening in the lens when a photo is taken. The opening controls how much light can enter your camera at once.”

There was so much great information in just this first lesson that I can’t wait for the rest!  The first challenge is to pick a stable object (I used a plant) and take three photos of the Aperture Priority Mode on your camera.  That means you control the aperture setting and the camera controls the shutter speed.  The ISO is set to 1600 for all of the photos below.

First up is the lowest number aperture setting on my camera with the prime lens which is 3.5, exposure time is 1/640, and ISO is 1600.


Notice how the plant is in sharp focus, but the wooden table is not.  That is called a shallow depth of field where the closest object is clear, but the background is not.

Next is the same photo with an aperture setting of 9, the exposure time is 1/100, and the ISO is 1600.


Now the grain of the wood is much more in focus and the colors are also a little more intense. 

Last is the highest number aperture setting for my lens and it is 22.  The exposure time is 1/15 and the ISO is 1600.


This photo has the largest depth of field with all objects being in focus, including the curtain in the very back right corner.

I was so surprised how much difference the aperture makes.  I had been focusing more on shutter speed (exposure time) and the ISO.  Thanks, Crafty Wife and nobadfoto.com for this great lesson.  Can’t wait for the next one!

You can check out The Photo Ladies Flickr page here.

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