Camera: Shutter Speeds


Digital Photography 101


Lesson Info

Camera: Shutter Speeds

All right, so we covered a lot having to do with camera settings and talking about media ring light and really understanding what the media ring was about and kind of ways to look at the lights and things to consider when you're capturing certain pictures, having to do with your different camera settings so what I wanted to go into now is a little bit more about exposure. Now when you hear the word exposure, um people think of all kinds of different things has to do with taking the shot and and actually capturing a good exposure, so a good exposure. What is that exactly? It's not just a photograph it's a combination of really three different things if you're thinking about light and capturing a good shot, we're talking about something that I call the exposure triangle, but first, before we get to that, I wanted to go into just a little bit about auto an auto mode and ask you all and actually I'd like to kind of take a little poll to see what is everyone shooting in now, no matter which...

camera you're using, so are you shooting an auto or their other settings that you like to use? So this is an example of, say what auto might look like on a compact camera this's what automatic might look like on a mod ill on a digital slr or perhaps a compact camera so I'm going to grab a couple of those right here and put him out as examples we'd love to have everybody jumping the chairman let us know what moves you guys are shooting on yeah, so we'll start with alex when you're shooting which mode you like to shoot in a ce faras your exposure setting? Well, since I don't really know that much cameras profits probably an auto okay, yeah, probably an auto and you know what? That's where a lot of people are right a lot of people start there and you can actually take some pretty good shots in automatic so it's not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm what I'm going to do is just introduce you to some other options that you can use get more creative about you, hans again using my phone so my settings are usually limited to flash or no flash okay, all right flash flash which has to do with the exposure part, but anyway that's another story so that so your camera that you're using doesn't have those options. So what you're doing then is just playing with the other light source on the camera, which is the flash that's that's cool okay, but you're gonna learn even more about other settings you can use and julian I used automatic or close up this is only setting sai used and you're relating them to light exposure. I didn't really realize that when I was ok yeah, so your exposure setting on any camera that you're using if it's automatic and what's happening is the cameras making its best guesstimate as to how to let in light and let record on your camera sensor so it's making its best guess for aperture shutter speed I s o it's doing all those things someone's you look at the picture think wow, I did a really good job and all I did was just press the shutter button and that's when the camera is making a lot of the decisions for you, which hey that's not always all bad maybe it's just what you saw and captured a moment and you didn't have to think so much about the other technical part about it. How about you, chris? Definitely for may being way beginners it's auto hope that's what it is, but I'm so used to with anything in my experience around it is what I see is that people adjust the lighting instead of adjusting but film or that the camera and stuff like that so I kind of now it opens up a home their window of what goes on like I said behind the scenes compared to because most everything I see is adjusting, lighting and and filtering it doing everything on set not distractions what's going on with the camera directing your back here the theater where they're directing scenes and people are adjusting lighting and so if you're shooting an automatic your cameras just adjusting for whatever light is there or isn't there and trying to get a good exposure yeah, I'm so new that I assume that you just the lighting they're not through the camera so well you can't just you can adjust lighting and your camera yeah get into kind of controlling those both in this course so you'll start to kind of be able tio segment things up and know that we're like an experiment with this part but keep this the same so maybe use the same lighting but just play around with different exposure settings on your camera great yeah, well yeah, I know I shouldn't manual but I want to utilize a v moore and I completely understand the concept, but I still don't get the results that I know I should be getting so okay, so celia shoots in manual, which is definitely an advanced mode and you know it doesn't have to be an intimidating mood either, by the way and I'll show you some exposure settings you can use a cz we go over the course of the next couple of days, but yeah, so also shooting in a v and I'll get into explaining what that is aperture priority is what a lot of photographers like to shoot in because it gives them some creative control over how they want the image to turn out so that's that's a big part of this is once you gain some control over how your image is being exposed so how you're telling the camera to record it then you can really get into I've been having more control over while I really want to blur out that background or I want to capture the action or whatever it is you can start to think along those lines like you you have those options you have that capacity now because you'll learn how to make those exposure settings so we've got a lot of folks online who many of them are shooting an automatic because they're just starting we've got a bunch of people who shoot in manual we do have a very vocal continue to do shoot an aperture priority so you've got those folks on then we have a code five who shoots and flower mode because it makes everything pretty flower mode wait well this the mod I'il that you're seeing here on the slide a lot of cameras have this mode ill and some do not and that's ok if your camera doesn't have a meow dial on it a lot of these settings I'm going to be going into are available say in the menu settings or function settings on most compact cameras things like that, but if you've got, say, excuse me, if you have an iphone or android phone, whatever it is, you're probably not going to have these options unless maybe have a certain app that lets you go through some options like this, but usually when you're taking pictures within any kind of internal app that comes with a smartphone it's going to be making a lot of the decisions for you, but listen up because you know if you decide to get a compact or a digital slr camera thiss will definitely come in handy, so I'm just I've got two cameras here one is a compact and on the back of this compact right here is a little mode dial so that's kind of nice and this is as faras compact cameras go, this is maybe a little bit larger than some of the ones that you know, you might just throw in your little evening purser in your back pocket or something but it's like a twelve megapixel compact camera, so it takes nice shots and I can carry it around in my purse. It takes video too, and these air great. What I've seen happening, though, is a lot of people now are moving towards their digital slr ours going like to an entry level digital slr, which, by the way, s digital slr dslr stands for digital single lens reflex another one of those acronyms I think it's, you know, it's important to know what it means. So here's the model on the compact camera and on the dslr camera right here there's a model at the top. And no matter which digital slr camera that you use, whether it's, nike on our cannon or any of the other brands, usually the modi lives right appear in the top, so you kind of go through this and cycle through, but I've also got a picture on the slide so you can get a close up there, so let me show you the thief photographic triangle, and this is where exposure really comes altogether, and I'm gonna explain this a little bit more detail, and we're also going to be doing this when we're shooting over the next couple of days too. So basically what I'm representing here is shutter speed aperture, and so those three things make up what's called the photographic triangle, and if you can play around with these three things, they're all related to each other. So if you do something to one of them like let's, say I adjust my shutter speed in any kind of lighting environment, it affects the other settings, too, and depending on which exposure mode you choose to shoot in, you will have more or less control over all of this so that's kind of the big picture as far as just always think about that. That triangle and that's going to affect your exposure. So I'm gonna go into a little bit more detail about what each one is so shutter speed, shutter speed. You want to think about time? Okay, so that's how long the shutter and the camera is actually open? Toe let in light it's a hit the sensor so you might think about it like a window, perhaps. And how long the shutters of the windows are open so that's going to let in a lot of light. So the way that you will recognize shutter speeds, they're measured in something called seconds so it's measured in in time so you might see and it's denoted by a one, and then a little, um slash so you might see one eight thousands of a second or one four thousand thirty one. Two thousand that's a really fast shutter speed. So that means the light is entering the camera very quickly. So if it's capturing anything it's going to freeze the motion, so if I were going to jump and wanted someone to capture me and I didn't want it to be blurry, I tell them to use a very fast. Shutter speeds the shutters not open that long one eight thousands of a second is a very short period of time and then you kind of move on down the line and I'll show you some examples but say and I kind of changed the color on these just so it wasn't like a big blob of numbers and kind of not that anyone has any special significance over the other but as you sort of move down the line here this is something I've noticed when I've worked with students and they're finding first of all how you adjust the shutter speed on your camera so it might be in different places depending on the way your camera is manufactured but as you kind of go through there, you'll always see a one in a slash that represents times just think about seconds in time and how long that shutters open so just I kind of have that in the back of your brain shutter speed how long shutters they're open telling the shutters open on your camera that affects how much light is going to come in so moving all the way down the line to maybe the cameras only open like one a thousandth of a second but maybe it's also open one second that's a really long time what happens when the when the shutters open a really long time I'll show you example that so a fast shutter speed I'm going to show you a picture I took of one of my friends who just went got this groovy haircut and she came over to my house and she wanted to show it off and she said we'll take a picture because my hair is looking really good and she doesn't like to be in front of the camera much at all although she is on the cover of one of my books s and it was from this photo shoot that that picture kind of came to be so here's the picture of my friend karen now karen has a very vibrant personality and I like to capture personalities of people when I photograph them and I have just all look the same and to get her to kind of loosen up in front of the camera where she was standing she has her arms kind of like this I have across you can't see but she has her arms like this and she's standing in like a doorway I had like a sliding glass door that opened up so she's standing there like that and she's and kind of trying to figure out how to pose on trying to help her but no matter what I say she's a looking and feeling more more uncomfortable so I said ok was just like let's just move around I said put your hands here just like throw your your new hair around and so she's throwing it around and I used a fast shutter speed one two thousandth of a second and was able to capture her hair just like right there and these are the moments that we can't even really see with our eyes, right these air right? Some of these sports pictures that you see or thes fast action shots that are captured really look unique and special because it's something we can't see it just the camera captures that little nano second, that little one two thousandth of a second in this case, so she's thrown her hair around, and so I capture some shots like that, but I'm also kind of I don't really have quite enough light and I'm taking pictures and very fast succession, so I don't have my flash on on my camera, so the flash can't recycle that quickly to go teach like that, so I'm trying to, like captures many as I can, but it's kind of running out of light it's getting to be later in the day, so I wanted to also adjust the shutter speed on my camera to make it look a little bit different at a different artistic impression, so I changed it to just playing around. I used all different shutter speeds, but I just played around and said, ok, one fifteenth of a second it's a lot it's open a lot longer that shutter speed a good rule of thumb is if you're taking photographs and you don't have a tripod or a state a stable surface to put your camera on you really don't want to go much slower than one sixtieth of a second they hand holding unless you know that you know you're going to have some blower in it maybe it's just a creative effect that you want I mean that's kind of a rule of thumb and I'll talk about this more where it also has to do with the focal length of your lens about the shutter speed that you used to make sure that you get a sharp picture but if you're going for a blurry shot like this it doesn't really matter so I chose one fifteenth of a second there's my shutter speed and with that you know, I was just able to get like this cool kind of wild shot of her throwing her hair around but remember I told you about that photographic triangle where if you just one thing it affects everything else too I'm gonna go back just kind of look at this shot ok, so you see this like blurred like you know you might think oh that's a terrible shock but it's all blurry or you might think, well, that's really cool it shows movement so you know the art and the photo is in the eye of the beholder but that was my intent on this, but just look at this because she she's all blurry and look at the background remember she's standing in like in a doorway seem kind of sea back behind her? You can see things going on in the room. Okay, well, now look at this picture kind of going back with the fast shutter speed noticed the background looks a little bit different you can't quite see is much going on back there it's like I can't quite tell what that is well that's because when I changed the shutter speed, the aperture was affected and I'm going to go on to explain a little bit about aperture to so it changes the look of your photo in more ways than one and I think with this I might have actually raised my eyes so to get the sharper picture too but again the photographic triangle I'm going to go into more detail as we moved through here's another example this is a shot I take I try to take every year in the manhattan beach pier when they have the christmas lights up and one year I took this and uh I wanted to make some holiday cards to send out to friends and family and business associates and all these things and clients and so I made some greeting cards first I did like a limited edition print of it and thought, well, that's cool, you know, make this and give it to people that's why I put it into like a edge is sort of filter effect to kind of make those edges look kind of grooving and rough, and then I sign my name at the bottom, and then I also made greeting cards out of it, but the way I captured the shot is I got my tripod and my camera and went down to the manhattan beach pier right before sunset coming, I found my spot looked around, got set up, and then I really played around with my shutter speed that's really all I played around with, they didn't play around with anything else didn't play around with s o r aperture, and I'll show you how exactly I've shot emmanuel, and I just kind of that's often what I do all just I'll shoot emanuel and kind of play around with settings to see what I like on the back of my lcd screen. Some people are much more scientific about it, but sometimes I just like to kind of go with what I'm seeing and then play around with different exposure settings, so I used one second shutter speed, and so this was way after the sun had set, and there was just some light in the sky, some people what really like to shoot this time of day? I do too, right before sunset right after sunset because the lights really low in the sky and it creates this beautiful, soft, warm sort of ambient light. People look good in it. Things start to look more interesting later in the day, but if you use a longer shutter speed, it's going to let more light in the camera and that's how I was able to capture this, what it was, you know, I was at least half an hour, maybe forty five minutes after sunset in the wintertime, so I was able to capture the shot so you can kind of play around with shutter speed to let more light in ok here's another example of a slower shutter speed and just taken different pictures of there's, a dance studio and taking pictures of all the kids there, and I wanted to capture the movement of them jumping up in the air. Plus I didn't have a whole lot of light, so I couldn't really take a fast. So what? I'll show you to and you, you know you're taking fast pictures very quickly that shutters only open for a short period of time, you need a lot of light if you really want to capture action, if you don't have much light, you're going to end up with some blur like this but I kind of went for the artistic effect, so this is an example of shooting at one thirtieth of a second, which is a slower shutter speed remember I told you about shutter speed one sixteenth of a second is a kind of a good normal middle of the road rule of thumb so usually if you go anything lower than one sixties one thirtieth and you're getting into those snow where shutter speeds or you click the shutter goes lick I'll try that the second um and here's an example of fast shutter speed again so one to fiftieth of a second that's usually kind of starting to be fast depending on the light and you're seeing and I think I was just kind of playing around with with this particular shot, I think I needed to get something for a client that needed some kids playing in the water very quickly. Fortunately, I have a lot of friends with great kids and I could just run over to their house and shoot him for whatever. So that works out really great, so start cultivating a lot of friends and family for your photo adventures it really, really helps, you know, it's sure you can call it modeling agencies and things like that, but if you're just kind of just starting out and want to really practice, you know your friends and family they want to see you succeed teo and it could be really fun and they're going to get pictures out of it so just you know, round people up and just start coming up with ideas and sometimes I'll just say oh ok, I want to shoot a fast shutter speed a picture I need something for a good example for one of my classes or a book and so I'll call someone up and say ok, park two o'clock where this we're going to bring a sprinkler and I think that's what this one wass so and just kind of play around with your exposure settings ok, here is one four thousandth of a second that really captured those little water droplets and with this I went to aa fountain that's kind of near where I live and I went there later in the days of the light was kind of lower in the sky and sort of position my my I had my camera on a tripod because I was playing around with slow shutter speeds too but I didn't have to have a tripod if I was going to shoot in this fast shutter speed but I was just kind of positioning myself around the the water fountain and watching the water droplets and when I was playing around with fast shutter speed I was able to capture something again we don't see with our eyes but you can capture in a photograph and it's just really fun and unusual so I guess the message here is really kind of play around start playing around with exposure settings and it gets a little confusing all at once if you start just ok I'm going to move out of automatic and I'm just going to go to manual and I'm just going to play around and then then you're starting it just is too confusing because if you're not familiar with what shutter speed and aperture might do and with your images you're adjusting in both at the same time and it's hard to measure things so a good place to start might be pick one say pick shutter speed and just really go out and play around with just adjusting your shutter speed on lee and see what you get in different lighting conditions and that's what I was doing it this some of this mountain so quick question before we move on to aperture and do we have if you guys have any questions about other people's, go ahead and ask them now but alan s f says to recommend a minimum shutter speed for photographing children that might be faster than that one sixtieth because children move around a little oh yes what is it my first question is are the children sleeping or are they away because if they're awake then I mean as you know if you shot any kids it's really hard to get them to sit still sometimes especially if you've got a certain idea in mind about how you want them to look or what you want them to d'oh but really it all depends on the light in your scene so if you are saying kind of inside and you don't have a whole lot of light maybe some window light coming in or maybe you've turned on some lights in the house um it just really depends on how much light you have, but I certainly would not go below one sixteenth of a second maybe try to keep it one one twenty fifth of a second higher at least capture whatever they're going to dio the brighter it is in the room, the more success you're going to have in capturing any action without any blur if they're moving around and one of the things I loved to do was shooting pictures of kids is to give them something to do because you're trying to capture a picture of a child and they're like you've seen it okay? You've said okay, you know billion sally, I want to get a picture of you and they're like, oh god, we have to do this again and they stand ergo teeth and then they leave and you take the shot and it's like they're cute and all but that's just so not an authentic shot you want account you want to capture them doing something so moving around great one twenty fifth of a second or higher and try if you want to make sure the pictures are pretty sharp and clear, make sure you're in a bright, fairly bright situation to do it, and I'm gonna go into maura about getting the great light and your photographs no matter what the lighting condition, and I'll go into some exposure settings there too, but yeah, good question, yes, kids dio move around and pets too you know if you want to take a picture of of pets unless they're extremely sedentary pits some are, but usually pets are moving around or looking around to and and having, whether it's kids or pets, a lot of people, they just don't like having a camera really close in their faces very unnerve ing experience and I'm going to share some some tips with u two on howto help people relax in front of the camera. It will be good for you, you know, being in front of the camera or taking pictures of other people on the flip side. And if you in the event that you the rare event that you have very sedentary children or still adult ken from vegas asked with image stabilization is the one sixtieth rule for hand held a bit conservative? Couldn't you go toe one thirtieth or maybe one fifteen that's a good question to let me introduce that because we haven't really talked about it yet which some lenses even some cameras too but lenses generally have something called image stabilization with canon cameras might see lenses says I asked stands for image stabilization nikon I think it's v r for vibration reduction so what that lens does is a kind of compensates for any movement in the image and I think it's called a pickle limiter I forget the name of it it's inside the lens, but it basically will let you shooting a little bit lower lighting situation with a little bit lower shutter and still get a sharp picture one sixtieth is kind of a general rule of thumb of course, if you have an image stabilizer lends you can certainly play around with that and see some I've seen good shots at one thirtieth of a second on dh still capturing them fairly sharp, but since we have a lot of people a lot of different cameras on maybe haven't invested in lenses that our image stabilized because typically those are a little bit more expensive kind of trying to cover the gamut but it's a good question and I would say experiment yes and one sixtieth might be a little conservative, but again it that depends on your life I like it is a good safe just general rule a great starting point

Class Description

Are you ready to start taking amazing digital images? Join award-winning photographer Erin Manning for a three-day introduction to the fundamentals of digital photography — frustration-free.

Whether you take pictures with your phone, a point-and-shoot digital camera, or a DSLR, Erin will give you the tools you need to capture beautiful digital images. You’ll learn about light and exposure, including how to work with and modify your on-camera flash. You’ll learn about common errors beginning photographers make and develop strategies for troubleshooting. Erin will also guide you through the basics of digital image editing and sharing your images online.

By the end of Digital Photography 101, you’ll have the creative and practical skills to create, edit, and share stunning digital images.



Good basic or "refresher" course.