The thing that goes click click.
Thats right, it’s shutter week! And I hope you read up on aperture, because these two are best of friends. While the aperture controls how large the iris opens, your shutter is how fast it will stay open.
Lets really think about this
If we can take a photo at f8 and 1/60 of a second, we can also take the same photo at f4 at 1/250 of a second. Why is that you may be wondering... well, here is why. Remember how the aperture controls how open the iris will be, well the more light you let in at once, the less time you need it to be open. Now don’t worry if this doesn’t make sense right away... it didn’t for me at first, but then one day... it clicked. (hehe)
I found this fabulous chart on flickr that should help understand this theory a bit more.
A good rule of thumb
When you are photographing things on the go, without a tripod, it is a good rule to not let your shutter go bellow 1/60 sec. If you do happen to drop bellow that, then you may notice some blur in your image, but in general this is a nice number to stay above.
So let’s practice this idea. (based on the chart above)
My aperture is set to f22 and my shutter is clicking 1/2 sec. That is sure to get some blur if i am hand holding. How can i make an adjustment to eliminate some of that blur? That’s right! Shoot with an opening of f4 or wider. This will let in more light and allow our shutter to click faster.
Now that we have a rule, lets break it!
(Tripods, benches, walls, sidewalks, anything sturdy really is about to become your best friend for this next exercise) Have you ever seen a photo of lightning or a night shot with car light streaks? These photos were taken the same way. A long shutter. No someone didn’t get lucky and click the camera at the right time, they had a long shutter and the light only got exposed when it was there. Same ideas with the cars, the shutter stays open and it captures all the light from the cars, leaving a streak along the road.
Here are a few examples of my own work using this technique:
Now for your challenge.
Long exposure. If you can find some good support, try to leave your shutter open for a few seconds. Go into a dark room, turn on some lights every now and then. Take it out on the street. Take it in the middle of the day! Well, maybe the last one wont give you the best results, unless it's really cloudy and you shoot at f32 and 100 ISO, oops! I have said to much, Stay tuned next week...
Can't wait to see your images!