Master Shutter Priority

    | Photography Tutorials | 10/07/2009 14:27pm
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    If you want to freeze or blur movement, use Shutter Priority for quick adjustments

    Like Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority is a semi-automatic shooting mode designed to bridge the gap between automatic and manual exposure. Shutter Priority (sometimes called Tv) enables you to pick a desired shutter speed and then the camera selects an aperture to match the cameraís light meter. The shutter speed you select performs two functions. First, it controls the length of time that light is permitted to reach your image sensor; and second, it governs the degree of subject movement that’s recorded in your shot.

    Like Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority is a semi-automatic shooting mode designed to bridge the gap between automatic and manual exposure.

    Shutter Priority (sometimes called Tv) enables you to pick a desired shutter speed and then the camera selects an aperture to match the cameras light meter.

    The shutter speed you select performs two functions. First, it controls the length of time that light is permitted to reach your image sensor; and second, it governs the degree of subject movement thats recorded in your shot. Shutter Priority is an great tool for sports and action photographers who need to freeze fast-moving subjects. It’s also good for the creative use of blur to emphasize movement.

    If you want to completely freeze the action, use a fast shutter speed. The exact speed depends on a number of factors – the speed of the subject, the direction in which its moving and its size in the frame. For example, if a horse galloping towards you requires a shutter speed of /500 sec to freeze it, the required shutter speed will be much faster - around /2000 sec - if its moving across the frame at 90 degrees to the camera.

    Subject size is also important. A subject that appears small on the horizon will require a much slower shutter speed than one thats looming up close in the viewfinder.

    Be a more effective photographer

    Choosing the right shutter speed when youre intentionally introducing blur for creative effect is far from a precise science.

    The degree of blur that works best for a subject is a matter of personal taste. A good starting point is to make a set of test shots using shutter speeds ranging from 1/30 sec to 1 sec, moving beyond these parameters if the resulting blur is too weak or too strong.

    When you find a shutter speed that works well, use your auto-exposure bracketing facility to give you a selection of three or more options. The difference in shutter speed between each shot will depend on the bracketing exposure increment selected.

    Warning!

    When shooting handheld remember to use a shutter speed equal to or faster than the reciprocal of the focal length of the lens. For instance, if youre shooting with a 300mm lens, use a shutter speed of 1/300 sec or faster to avoid camera shake.

    Keep an eye on your aperture value too - because your camera varies this for you as the light changes its easy to overlook. Aperture also changes when you dial in EV compensation, and too wide an aperture may result in overly shallow depth of field.

    Nikon:

    If the camera cant select a small enough aperture to match your slow shutter speed, it warns of overexposure.

    Canon:

    In the Canon system, the aperture read-out will flash to advise you to select a slower shutter speed.

    All pictures by Andrea Thompson


    Posted on Friday, July 10th, 2009 at 2:27 pm under Photography Tutorials.

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