Camera Shutter Speed - Using It Creatively

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The camera shutter is an ingenious invention. It works by allowing light in when the shutter is open to begin with the exposure and when the shutter closes the light is blocked, therefore, it ends the exposure. When taking a photograph, it doesn't just capture the subject and scenery but it uses light over a timeframe. This duration is known as shutter speed.

If there is moving objects when taking a picture, you can adjust the shutter speed so the moving objects will freeze or become blurred. You can adjust the shutter speed yes, but you can't change the shutter speed isolation without seriously affecting the overall picture quality.

You can get an impressive range of shutter speeds by using the right f-number and ISO speed. The f-number is also known as the aperture for those who didn't know. The more light you have means the faster your shutter speed is which obviously means that the less light, the slower the shutter speed, so if you are looking for an excellent quality photograph, then ensure that your staging and lighting is up to scratch.

Many of us think that photography is quite boring and what you can do is very limited but this is wrong as you're not only taking a picture but you have full control over the motion. True photographers will consider things like will my subject by blurred or sharpened. Blurring a subject can be a very difficult task for most of us but practice makes it perfect. There are 3 key points to producing a blurred perfect picture and they are as follows:

1. Movement Speed of the Subject - Subjects that move faster during a photograph will appear more blurred than if it were a still subject. This is something we should all know!

2. Direction of the Subject Motion - Subjects which are moving from the sides will appear more blurred than if they were walking towards the front of the camera.

3. Magnification of the Subject - If the subject is magnified and takes up a good portion of your image frame then they will appear more blurred than if they were only in a small fraction of the image frame.

For enthusiasts, you should try taking a photograph of water that is moving such as a flowing river or stream and use a shutter speed of about half a second. This will make the moving water appear surreal and silky looking. If you want to freeze splashing water instead of just the moving water then you will need to reduce your shutter speed to something along the lines of 1/400 per second. By using a smaller shutter speed the splashing water will appear almost waterfall like and will look great once developed. Experiment with different subjects and shutter speeds and before long you will be a professional.

As well as moving water, you can use a slow shutter speed for taking photographs of still subjects between moving subjects. A good example of this is someone standing still in a crowd of busy people (i.e. a busy train station). Again, experiment as much as you can with shutter speeds as they can greatly improve the overall quality of your photographs. There are different ranges of shutter speeds available for different cameras so if you are shopping for a new camera, ensure that it has the shutter speeds that will produce great quality photographs for the subjects you plan on photographing.

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