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Exposure Basics - Shutter Speed


Original article:  Exposure Basics - Shutter Speed

When we shot film we talked about exposure. Exposure is how much light we exposed to the film in order to correctly record a scene. Different kinds of film had different sensitivity to light (100asa vs. 400asa).

With digital cameras there really isn't much difference. Instead of exposing film we expose a digital sensor (CMOS and CCD being the common ones). Most modern digital cameras are able to automatically detect and set the best exposure for the scene; however, having an understanding of the exposure basics: shutter speed and aperture basics can greatly improve our ability to take better pictures.

Take Control
Shutter speed and aperture are important because they have an effect on how the resulting photograph will look. First, lets take a look at shutter speed, or the length of time that the camera’s digital sensor is exposed to the light.

Freeze the Action
Sports photographers have long used shutter speed as a special effect. Fast shutter speeds freeze the action, resulting in sharp and crisp photos. While a slower shutter speed will often blur the action – giving a feeling of fast movement.

Don't worry if your camera doesn't have manual settings, it will more than likely have an action mode. The action mode will primarily set a fast shutter speed to stop action. Keeping this in mind, you can use this setting anytime you want a fast shutter speed even if action is not involved.

Blur the Action
On the other hand, deliberately choosing a slow shutter speed will blur the action and with practice you can use that blur to emote motion. This technique also involves panning with the subject (maybe we will cover this in detail another day). I think the biggest lesson on this day of note for me was to be aware of the environment and to take the picture with an understanding of how shutter speed would affect the outcome.

The great thing about digital photography is that you can practice and get instant feedback on the technique you are experimenting with. So give it a try and see what happens.


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(Friday, 01 Oct 2010)  This is an administrators test after release of R5.
  
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