Understanding shutter speed as a creative tool: freeze and pan with confidence

Understanding shutter speed as a creative tool: freeze, pan and smooth with confidence

Tips for getting creative with shutter speed


Tips for getting creative with shutter speed

Look for movement
When looking at the scene, identify where the movement is, how fast it is and how you want to render it. If movement is fast, such as in a waterfall, decide if you prefer to see water movement (1/2 sec shutter speed max) or none at all (4 secs plus).

Shutter Priority mode
Set the correct exposure by using Shutter Priority mode. Let the camera worry about the aperture. For images where the depth of field is important, use Manual mode, set the desired aperture first, then the shutter speed, and expose correctly using the ISO rating.

Timing is critical
Use a cable release on a tripod-mounted camera to time images to perfection. Whether it’s receding waves or water explosions, watch the action intently and strike. Take many frames, especially of coastal shots, as every one will be different.

The twilight zone
Shoot long exposures using strong neutral density filters or by shooting in very low light in the morning or evening. Long exposures turn water and other movements into a ghostly render. Attach a cable release and shoot shutter speeds longer than 30 seconds using your camera’s Bulb mode.


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