Use the correct shutter speed
For sharp pictures, the shutter speed you use is key. But it’s also the answer if you want a creative blur effect…
Choosing the right shutter speed for you light and desired result is a vital part of taking a good photograph. It’s central to taking a good, sharp image – even tripods move in the wind, but you can counter that with the right shutter speed. You’ll need to consider it when coming up with a creative blur effect as well.
Shooting handheld or using a tripod?
- If you‘re holding the camera yourself, you need to set the shutter speed to a setting that avoids shaky pictures. Set a speed that‘s too slow and the involuntary movement of your arms and body will create a blurred image, which may not be noticeable until you zoom in close on the picture you‘ve taken.
- If you use the P mode, the camera will try to set a shutter speed that‘s fast enough to avoid this camera shake – but it isn‘t foolproof.
- In all modes, therefore, you need to check the shutter speed being used on the LCD or in the viewfinder.
- The shutter speed needed depends on the lens setting you use. The more you zoom in, the faster the shutter speed needs to be in order to avoid camera shake.
- Use an image stabilisation lens, and with the IS switched on your shutter speed can be up to four times longer than with the IS off.
- A tripod gives you the freedom to use any shutter speed, without worrying about camera shake.
- A tripod is essential for any shot where you need a shutter speed slower than 1/30 sec. It can be used for shots that are seconds, or even minutes, long.
- Some tripods are more stable than others
- Generally the heavier they are, the sturdier they are. But they can still move slightly in a heavy wind or with the vibrations of passing traffic.
Is the subject moving?
- A sprinting athlete obviously needs a fast shutter speed, say a round 1/1000 sec. But subjects th at seem stationary can also have movement, such as trees and plants in the wind
- To capture a sharp image you can‘t use a slows hutter speed, even if you‘re using a tripod.
- The shutter speed needed to capture a subject sharply is dependent on the speed that it moves across the viewfinder. Somebody walking right in front of the camera will require a faster shutter speed (say 1/2000 sec) than a jet on the horizon.
Are you using flash?
In this shot the flash freezes the falling feathers, not the 1/15 sec shutter speed
- If you use flash, it will help to freeze the subject. Even if the shutter speed itself isn‘t fast enough to capture the subject crisply, the short duration of the flash (which can be as short as 1/40,000 sec) can create a sharp image.
- How sharp the flash makes the image will depend on the shutter speed used, the power of the flash setting, and how bright the existing light is. There may be a slight ghost image around the sharp, flash-exposed part, but this can often look attractive.
Landscape shutter tips
100mm @ 1/100 sec
- The shutter speed should be at least equal to the lens focal length. If you‘re using a 50mm lens, use a speed of 1/50 sec or faster (shown as 50 on the LCD). If you‘re using a 300mm lens, use a speed of 1/300 sec or faster (shown as 300 on the camera). This is just a rough rule, and it doesn‘t guarantee a sharp handheld picture. Use a faster speed if possible. Or take several shots.
20mm @ 1/30 sec
- With handheld wide-angle lenses use a slightly faster shutter speed
- Make sure the shutter speed is 1/30 sec or faster.
This entry was posted on Friday, July 10th, 2009 at 2:27 pm and is filed under PhotoRadar tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Tags: Basic Photography Skills