How to take good photos: 10 simple ways to boost your hit rate

    | Photography Tips | 21/02/2014 00:01am
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    How to take good photos: 05 Use shutter speeds for creative effect

    How to take good photos: 05 Use shutter speeds for creative effect

    While the aperture controls the amount of light coming through the lens, the shutter’s job is to control how long your sensor is exposed to it – from motion-freezing shutter speeds of 1/1000 sec and faster, to long, blur-inducing exposure times of a second or more.

    The shutter speed you need will depend on how you want to control the movement in your photograph.

    If you’re taking a seascape, for example, do you want to try and freeze each white-crested wave (with a fast shutter speed), or transform the sea into a milky blur (slow shutter speed)?

    SEE MORE: The best shutter speeds for every situation – free photography cheat sheet

    Both are possible; you just need to decide which effect you want. The easiest way of doing this is to shoot in Shutter Priority mode and experiment with the ‘extreme’ ends of the exposure scale.

    As well as the creative possibilities presented by differing shutter speeds, there are also technical reasons for choosing one shutter speed over another – when you’re hand-holding the camera, for example.

    As a rule, you’ll need a minimum shutter speed that is the reciprocal of the focal length (1/100 sec with a 100mm focal length, 1/200 sec with a 200mm focal length, and so on) to avoid creating the sort of blur that’s typically caused by camera shake.

    Of course, sensor- and lens-based stabilisation systems make fast shutter speeds slightly less critical, but it’s still worth worth erring on the side of caution – maybe extending the shutter speed by two stops at most beyond the reciprocal (so 1/30 sec with a 100mm focal length).

    Any longer than this and you’ll be much better off using a tripod for maximum camera stability.

    How to take good photos: 01 Think about your shots
    How to take good photos: 02 Get composition spot-on every time
    How to take good photos: 03 Ensure your basic camera functions are set correctly
    How to take good photos: 04 Use aperture to control depth of field
    How to take good photos: 05 Use shutter speeds for creative effect
    How to take good photos: 06 Get the white balance right
    How to take good photos: 07 Get your camera’s ISO settings right
    How to take good photos: 08 Take control of focus
    How to take good photos: 09 Assess your shots in-camera
    How to take good photos: 10 Review and edit your images

    READ MORE

    Common mistakes at every shutter speed (and the best settings to use)
    Understanding shutter speed as a creative tool
    Slow shutter speed vs fast: how to maintain a consistent exposure (free cheat sheet)
    What camera should I buy: pros and cons of each camera type


    Posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 12:01 am under Photography Tips.

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