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Choosing a Shutter Speed

Lesson 9 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

Choosing a Shutter Speed

Lesson 9 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

9. Choosing a Shutter Speed


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Welcome to Photography


Camera Types Overview


Viewing Systems


Viewing Systems Q&A


Lens Systems


Shutter Systems


Shutter Speeds


Choosing a Shutter Speed


Shutter Speeds for Handholding


Shutter Speed Pop Quiz


Camera Settings


General Camera Q&A


Sensor Sizes: The Basics


Sensor Sizes: Compared






Sensor Q&A


Focal Length: Overview


Focal Length: Angle of View


Wide Angle Lenses


Telephoto Lenses


Angle of View Q&A


Fish Eye Lenses


Tilt & Shift Lenses


Subject Zone


Lens Speed


Aperture Basics


Depth of Field


Aperture Pop Quiz


Lens Quality


Photo Equipment Life Cycle


Light Meter Basics




Histogram Pop Quiz and Q&A


Dynamic Range


Exposure Modes


Manual Exposure


Sunny 16 Rule


Exposure Bracketing


Exposure Values


Exposure Pop Quiz


Focus Overview


Focusing Systems


Autofocus Controls


Focus Points


Autofocusing on Subjects


Manual Focus


Digital Focusing Assistance


Focus Options: DSLR and Mirrorless


Shutter Speeds for Sharpness and DoF


Depth of Field Pop Quiz


Depth of Field Camera Features


Lens Sharpness


Camera Movement


Handheld and Tripod Focusing


Advanced Techniques


Hyperfocal Distance


Hyperfocal Quiz and Focusing Formula


Micro adjust and AF Fine Tune


Focus Stacking and Post Sharpening


Focus Problem Pop Quiz


The Gadget Bag: Camera Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Lens Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Neutral Density Filter


The Gadget Bag: Lens Hood and Teleconverters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Adapters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Cleaning Supplies


The Gadget Bag: Macro Lenses and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Flash and Lighting


The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Custom Cases


10 Thoughts on Being a Photographer


Direct Sunlight


Indirect Sunlight


Sunrise and Sunset


Cloud Light


Golden Hour


Light Pop Quiz


Light Management


Artificial Light




Off-Camera Flash


Advanced Flash Techniques


Editing Overview


Editing Set-up


Importing Images


Best Use of Files and Folders




Develop: Fixing in Lightroom


Develop: Treating Your Images


Develop: Optimizing in Lightroom


Art of Editing Q&A


Composition Overview


Photographic Intrusions


Mystery and Working the Scene


Point of View


Better Backgrounds


Unique Perspective


Angle of View


Subject Placement


Subject Placement Q&A




Multishot Techniques




Human Vision vs The Camera


Visual Perception


Visual Balance Test


Visual Drama


Elements of Design


The Photographic Process


Working the Shot


The Moment


One Hour Photo - Colby Brown


One Hour Photo - John Keatley


One Hour Photo - Art Wolfe


One Hour Photo - Rocco Ancora


One Hour Photo - Mike Hagen


One Hour Photo - Lisa Carney


One Hour Photo - Ian Shive


One Hour Photo - Sandra Coan


One Hour Photo - Daniel Gregory


One Hour Photo - Scott Robert Lim


Lesson Info

Choosing a Shutter Speed

Why do we choose one shutter speed over the other speed? Well there's a couple of things that are gonna pull our decisions in one direction or the other. The first is the technical reason. We need to deal with light, and we need to manage the light by either letting in more light or less light, and this is the best way of controlling light because we can cut it in half for so many steps, and we can double it for so many steps. We have so many opportunities for changing light it's amazing here. This is our most versatile setting on the camera. However, this also impacts subjects that move. So freezing motion and blurring motion it will affect them so we have to be very aware of what we're shooting, and how our shutter speed affects that. And so that is our next section 'cause we're gonna be looking at the shutter speeds, and we need to be thinking about time and motion. And we might, you're probably thinking right now I understand time and I understand motion. I understand shutter speed...

s and it's all very, very easy. Well, let's ask some questions coming up here, and see how good you are at time and motion. Alright, very very fast shutter speeds. There's a lot of cameras that you can buy that do not have an 8,000th of a second. When you buy an entry level Sony or Nikon on Canon they typically don't have an 8,000th of a second, and I'll be honest with you it's not a big deal. You rarely need 8,000th of a second. I had to go out and create a photograph because I just have so few examples shot at 1/8,000th of a second. So this is a water droplet falling in a water bottle, and that happened really really quickly so you'd need a very very high shutter speed to show that action. How 'bout the propeller of a plane? I think I can see just a little bit of blur movement on that propeller at 8,000th of a second. Now most of your aviation photographers will not like this photo, just by the way, because they like a little bit of blur because a picture like this you're kind of wondering is that propeller moving or not? Because I feel uneasy if it's not moving. And so they usually like to have a little bit of blur in that movement there. Alright, kinda more for your advanced photographers. This is a reason why it's nice to have an 8,000th of a second on your camera. My goal here is not to stop the motion of this plant growing at 1/8,000th of a second. (audience laughing) My goal is to shoot with very shallow depth of field, and in order to set my camera at an aperture of 1.4, which lets in a lot of light, I needed a really fast shutter speed. And so I'm not choosing shutter speed to stop action here. I'm choosing it to manage light. I needed it, just simply, because it's out in bright sunlight, and I'm trying to shoot shallow depth of field. So if you were a portrait photographer who had a very fast 1.4 lens you might be using 1/8,000th of a second to get your proper exposures and that's where those higher end cameras that have that 8,000th of a second are really paying their dividends. That's what that 8,000th of a second is more for. Less for just stopping action. Okay, let's get back to the action stuff. So we got a hummingbird at 4,000th of a second. Remember this photo. Okay, photographic memory? We're going to the next shot which is also 4,000th of a second. Same hummingbird, same framing, same shutter speed, same aperture, same ISO, but the wings are blurry. Can somebody in the classroom pick up the microphone, and explain why the wings are blurry here, and I will jump back for you. Why are the wings sharp here? We need somebody to answer in here because we'll call you up to the front of the room if you don't. I'm not answering. (laughing) And so why is this one blurry? Can anyone figure out what's different about those two photos? Is it possible that the bird moved out of the focal range? No, it's a good guess but not quite right. Because, the bird, you see what I did is I focused exactly where the feeder was here, and I knew the bird had to go there if it wanted to get the juice in there, and so the bird really hasn't changed. Kenna, you got something there? Now the Internet folks are commenting, wow. (laughing) Is it because of the moment of the flapping of the wings? Who gave that answer? A whole bunch of people. Okay, well they are all correct. (Kenna laughing) Nice job, nice job there folks. And so you all thought you were experts in time and motion, right? Alright, well let's think about the hummingbird's wings. Taking some things for granted here, but generally the wings go back, and they're moving very quickly right here. And then they gotta come forward, and things move faster in the middle, and they kinda stop. You know how you throw a ball up in the air, and it kinda hangs there for a second, and then comes back down? The speed is different. Here it's moving faster, and so, I would like to say that I chose the timing of this to get one sharp, and one blurry. I took a bunch of photos and this was the result, and so, it really depends on how fast that subject is moving for that shutter speed. And so you have to be thinking how fast is the subject moving? And what's the shutter speed? Alright, down at 2,000th of a second. Some very fast action. This is in Morocco. They ride down and they all fire their guns at exactly the same time, or, as we can see, they didn't quite fire their guns all exactly at the same time, and so a very fast shutter speed will show that. 2,000th of a second not only captures the dog in flight, but notice the water droplets. When you use a little bit longer shutter speeds you start getting these streaks for water droplets. How about a penguin in flight? Lots of things in flight here, okay? They don't fly very far, but fast shutter speeds over 1,000th of a second are gonna do pretty good for bodies moving through the air very quickly. Alright? Cross country runner. The feet, the hair, the hands are all quite sharp. I will give you a few key shutter speeds that you should really keep in mind. The first one is 500th of a second. 500th of a second or faster is what you're gonna wanna choose for stopping human motion, fast human motion. And so your sports, dancing type activities. You're gonna need 500th of a second or faster. It depends a little bit on some of the other variables. And, you know, if I was to look really closely here I would say that blue boxing glove has a little bit of blur to it, and I'm totally fine with that 'cause we know that that is in motion there. He's not just holding the glove there. That's in movement there, and so, something there or faster. Now let's ask the question, well if 500th is good, would 1,000 be better? What about 8,000? That's a lot faster. Would this picture be much better at 8,000th of a second? So, if we choose a faster shutter speed. Well, first off, did we freeze the action here? It's a yeah, we did. If we choose a faster shutter speed can we more freeze the action? Can you take an ice cube out of a freezer, and stick it in a really cold industrial freezer, and have that ice cube get even more frozen? No. Once something has frozen that's it, and so that's one of the key concepts when you are shooting action is to figure out what shutter speed will stop the action. Sometimes I like to go one extra for safety. So maybe go up to 1,000th of a second, but there is no reason to shoot this at 8,000th of a second, and the reason that you don't want to go up to 8,000th of a second. Let's say compared to 500th of a second, when we go up to 1,000 that's half as much light, and then a quarter, and then an eighth, and 1/16th as much light is getting into the sensor up here which means we're gonna have to make up for that either changing the ISO of our camera, or changing the aperture of our lens which may not be possible. And so we want just enough to do the job maybe one more for safety and then it's good, alright? So think about that when it comes to fast shutter speeds. Oh, wait, why is this one blurry? I thought 500th stops fast action. It stops fast human action. Birds are completely different creatures. Their wings move much faster, and so we have blurriness here. Now there comes another question of do we like blurry things or not? Now intrinsically, a lotta people will know we don't want blurry things. But blurriness is a way for still photographers to show movement when we only have one frame in which to show it. And people get this. If I presented this photo to a caveman they might go why? Why blurry? It doesn't make sense. They haven't seen a bird with blurry wings, but we understand that. We know that this means the bird is in flight, and it's flapping those wings very quickly so it's a great way for us to add a little mystery to the photograph, but people can read it and understand it. Down at 250th of a second. This can be a little bit of a dangerous place to shoot fast human motion 'cause if you'll notice the feet here they're starting to get blurriness. And when we have blurry faces things don't look so good. So in this example, if we look closely, we magnify that face, it's not tack sharp. It is not sharp but if we look at the shoes they are sharp 'cause they're not moving quite as fast as the face is, and so this picture would have been better at 500th of a second. Remember fast human action should be at 500th of a second or faster. Excuse me, 250th of a second does a good job here. Now this has kind of a number of fun things going on in it. Once again, we have one photograph in which to tell a particular story, and one of the ways we can convey movement is through blurriness, and so, you can see the stick is blurry. We know it's moving. The tire, on the front of it, is blurry. We know it's moving. The puff of dust is hanging in the air there so we can kinda see that. The face is very sharp, and so we can start looking at all these different elements that are sharp and blurry, and we can start imagining what this actually looks like in the real world. And so that's where you're presenting a little bit of information, and the viewer of your photograph is filling in all the gaps. And if I had to draw a line as to where the faster shutter speeds we're now getting into more kind of typical normal regular shutter speeds. 125th of a second does a pretty good job stopping these camels' legs walking in the desert, okay? Not running, just walking along stopping the action. 125th of a second is, I'm a cross country runner, and coach a cross country team, and it is the worst shutter speed for shooting runners. It is absolutely terrible because you get this haze of blur over everything that just does not look good, and this is where a lot of cameras will go to when you put them in their fully automated modes. If they don't know you're shooting sports photography they'll often end up at these in-between mediocre shutter speeds which are totally wrong for the subjects. So, if I had to call home base I would call 60th of a second home base. This is the second key number I'll give you, and this is good for stopping casual human motion. And we tend to shoot a lot of pictures of people, and so we wanna know where are we gonna get sharp pictures of people? And so, all these people, all these boats are all moving right now, but they don't look blurry, and a big part of that is that at a 60th of a second you're not gonna notice a lot of casual human movement blurriness. And so, casual human movement but he's got leverage moving that hammer a little bit more quickly so we're gonna see a little bit more blur there 'cause that's not quite casual human movement, and having that little bit of blur lets people know a little bit more about exactly what's going on in that scene. And so, people walking at a normal speed they're not blurry at a 60th of a second. Alright, this is not how I normally shoot photos. I was in Cuba and I was enamored with these blue doors, and I was waiting for just the right person to come across, and then some kids come running down the street, and I was totally not setup for kids running down the street, but I shot the picture anyway. Who knows it might come out, and I got a lotta blurriness here, alright? And you know what? I kinda like it because there's just enough information to let you know what's going on. Like this kid on the left. Can you see? You can see him turning around, and he's smiling. And the kid in the back, I don't know why, but he's carrying one shoe. I don't know, maybe the kid in front stole the other shoe or something, and he's running off with it or something. But you can tell just enough information about what's going on. So one of the concepts that I like in photographs is a little bit of mystery. One of the problems that new photographers have is they're trying to tell the entire story, everything that's going on, in one picture. And it's okay to have a little bit of mystery. Hint at what's going on, and this is one of the ways they hint is with a little bit of blurriness. And, very quickly, we're getting into the slower shutter speeds. So anything a 30th and slower, I kinda consider a slower shutter speed in the very general sense of the word. So when something's moving we are likely to get blurriness. Now how much blurriness do we get? Notice the garment along the top of the frame. We're getting different amounts of blurriness depending on how much movement we're getting during that exact exposure. This is where it's a fun place to do panning photography, and this is where you are simply following your subject, keeping your subject in exactly the same place in the frame as you pan from left to right, or right to left, or up or down. And so I'm waiting for the runners, and then I'm keeping them in the viewfinder as I'm moving around, and so the background becomes very blurry because the camera is moving very consistently fast in that area, but the subject is staying relatively steady. And to be honest with you this runner's pretty out of focus, but it works because the rest of the photo is so out of focus the runner looks reasonably good. And so, especially when you can kinda lock on, and see some pretty good sharpness in the face it's gonna hold steady, and it's gonna be okay in that regard. And so we're gonna see a lot of these panning photographs. I love doing these panning photographs. You end up throwing a lot of these away because a lot of them are mistakes, and you just didn't move right. You didn't swing through and get it quite right, but the ones that come out have an area of sharpness that really draws your eye just to the right location if you get that panning done just right. So this is very similar to the Cuban boys. I decided to just let the camera shoot straight as the runners were running in front of me, and you're gonna get that blurriness when they move at running speed with 1/15th of a second. I was attacked by a shark it was really exciting. Took some photos of it. This is actually out on Lake Washington. It might have been a buoy, and what I did here is I did a very cheesy trick. It's a very cliche trick that a lot of people don't like, but, you know, I like to have fun with photography so I zoomed the lens while I was taking the exposure, and that kind of builds in what's called a radial action to it, radial motion to it which kind of heightens the excitement of the moment. So, if you are ever attacked by a shark I would highly recommend setting 1/15th of a second. It's gonna make it seem more exciting. It'll really look good then. Down at an eighth of a second. So this photo is the first in a series of photos where I have used a tripod, and so I wanted to use a tripod so that I could get everything in focus, and you can see down along the bottom of the frame water droplets on the leaves are pretty sharp in focus there. But you'll notice the flowers, these tulips here, they're blurry. They're blurry 'cause they're blowing in the wind, but you know what, the wind is blowing across this entire field. Now can anyone here in the live studio audience answer the question as to why these flowers are blurry, and the ones in the background don't appear blurry at all? Because we know the wind is moving all of them at about the same speed. Why are the ones in the foreground blurry? Why are the ones in the background sharp? Pick up the mic. Give a good guess. I think 'cause the size of the image. Size? Size of the flowers in the front are larger so the motion's gonna be more evident? Where the size going back, yeah, they're smaller so you're not gonna see the motion as much. That's correct, give that man a prize! A round of applause. (chuckling) (audience applauding) See, there's benefits to answering questions. So, yes, it is the size. Think of it this way. This flower is moving across a lot of pixels on the sensor. The one back here, it's moving back and forth, but it's not moving across very many pixels, and so this is more apparent. So even though things are moving at the same speed it's bigger and more prevalent onscreen we're gonna notice it more. And so every once in awhile someone will write me a question, and they'll say I am shooting, and they'll give an activity, what shutter speed do I need? I don't know how big it is in frame. If you remember the picture back at a 60th of a second. It was in India, in Varanasi along the river, all the people? And I said that 60th of a second stopped the motion of the people. Well one of the secrets about that shot is that they're all kinda small in the frame. If I was really close to the people you might see movement, and if they're really small you're not gonna notice the movement as much. Alright, doing some panning shots at an eight of a second. There's a lot of throwaways down here 'cause we're getting into really slow shutter speeds as the cars are moving down the street. Here the camera is steady, and I'm letting the dancers twirl in front of me. I want them to have just a little bit of blurriness, and I'm playing around with different shutter speeds to see how much is too much blur, and how much is not enough blur 'cause there's a personal style that's you're gonna want in these types of photos, and it'll take a little bit of experimentation to see that. Fireworks can be shot at many different shutter speeds. A quarter of a second's not a bad place to start. You could have the shutter open for several seconds. It could be as short as a 60th of a second. It depends on a lot of other parameters so there's a lot of different things to experiment and try with fireworks. So one of the neat things about photography is it forces you to look at the world with different eyes, and one of the things you need to look at is anything that moves, and start asking the question what is that gonna look like at a given shutter speed? And this is where a tripod, and a little bit of time to experiment can be a lot of fun. And so playing around with some prayer flags in Buton. Now, in this case, there's nothing moving. This goes back to a previous shot that's actually kinda similar to this one. This has nothing to do about choosing shutter speeds for movement. This is choosing shutter speeds because of light levels, and exposure time. It's a landscape shot. This is White Sands National Monument down in New Mexico, and I just needed a quarter of a second because the light levels are kinda low in order to get this type of shot. And so I'm not choosing this for movement reasons I'm choosing this for exposure reasons. Getting down to a half second. Here's those marathon runners down at a half second. Do you remember them before at a 15th of a second? Now it's kinda funny because you can see their shoes down here because the shoes are on the ground for a little bit longer than the body. The bodies are more in steady motion, and so you can really have fun with things that move. Think about anything that moves. What can you do with it to make it interesting? Alright, time for another little quiz here. We've got a train moving through the scene, and we all know that trains move at one consistent speed, right? Alright, so we have blurriness in the train down here, but sharpness in the train back here. There are two reasons, and I'm gonna tell you one because it's one that we already talked about, and that is size matters, okay? How big is this car on the frame versus the cars back there? But there's another factor that plays into this that's very important in different types of sports and activities that you're trying to get sharp photos. What's different about this car versus the one coming around the bend? Can anybody here in the room answer what's different about those cars? What's different about the motion? I'm gonna get a drink of water. I'll let you guys think about it for a moment. (audience chuckling) Okay, I'm back. (audience laughing) What have you got? I'd say the car in the front you're more to the side of it where the other one is more, it's the angle that you're-- The direction of movement. Yeah. The direction of movement is very important that is correct. We're moving across screen versus toward the screen here, alright? And so, let's, which camera? We're gonna be on this camera right here? Alright, so if I move towards the camera my size and my changing is not very big because I'm getting a little bit bigger because I'm getting closer to the camera. So you don't notice the change as much, but if I move from side to side you'll notice my movement very, very quickly. And so, the direction of travel is important. We've all experienced this on a long stretch of highway where we have a car coming straight towards us, and we see this little tiny car in the distance. It's little, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, it's huge. It goes right by us. And when we're on the side of the road it's just they're flying by us, but they're all going the same speed roughly. Alright, so the direction of travel is very important, and so that's why you can't just say what shutter speed do I need to stop a train? What lens are you using? What's your angle of view? How big is it in the viewfinder? It's gonna vary. It's gonna vary a little bit. Alright, down to one full second. This is where I often like to try to get to for those kind of creamy, misty, waterfall, river type shots, and so you can do these down at around a quarter second or so, but one second's usually gonna get a really nice, dreamy look to it if that's what you're looking to go for. Can you stay perfectly still for one second? It's kinda hard. You put your arms out and you support yourself you can stay pretty still, and if you're small in the frame you're not gonna notice any movements for a one second exposure. Moving down to two seconds. Getting this waterfall action here. Wave crashing over the breakwaters. Four seconds getting into longer exposures. This is where we're typically shooting more towards nighttime where we need these longer exposures 'cause the light levels are low. Okay this is the same situation as the train. The people walking in on this pathway are sharp in the distance, but they're blurry on the bottom of the frame, and that's because they're larger, and the angle of view they're moving more across from the camera whereas as the top of the frame they're moving more directly away from the camera, and so they don't appear to be moving at the same speed even though we can be pretty certain that all those people are walking at about the same pace. Eight full seconds. This is an LED hula hoop. Once again, asking the questions of what's that gonna look like when it's used at a different shutter speed? And so when I saw that there was a group of people that did LED hula hoop dancing out in the park I wanted to go down and shoot photos of that. Eight second exposure. Long exposure because the sun is set, and I'm just trying to get a little bit of that light. Work with that last little bit of light of the day. You can work at nighttime. This is Monument Valley illuminated by moonlight with a 15 second exposure. Able to see all those stars. 15 second exposure in Venice. The water sloshing the gondolas around causing a lotta blur there, but the background nice and sharp 'cause that's on steady land. 30 full seconds. The longest amount of time most of our cameras can handle. Down on the Oregon coast. Waves crashing in. There is no mist, there is no fog. This is all just water movement with a really long shutter speed. This one is a little tricky, and I'm gonna explain how I there's a very, very special trick in order to do this. I had a cruise ship going through the Corinth Canal in Greece, and it's a very, very narrow cut canal that only certain boats can get through. And I wanted to do a 30 second exposure to make it look like the boat was doing 100 miles an hour when in reality it was doing two. It was going very, very slow, but I needed a very long shutter speed to get that blurriness on the boat, on the side walls, but you can see the boat is very, very sharp. Now the people did move around so they're a little bit blurry, but there's an area of sharpness, and an area of blurriness, and that's kind of an interesting thing to have in a photograph is some sharpness some blurriness. Down at these longer shutter speeds you can do an effect called light painting. Taking lights and moving it around. This is like the hula hoop, but this is just a single head lamp that I'm spinning around as I'm down in Death Valley at the racetrack. Also, able to see the stars up in the corner. Can we go longer than 30 seconds? You betcha. How about a two minute exposure? This is in Rome, and I left it open for two minutes 'cause I wanted as many headlamps as possible, or taillights of the cars coming through on the road down below. If I wanna go any longer than that it gets tough on the sensors. This is a four minute exposure, and once again, no mist, no fog. This is just water moving around. Now this was done back in the days when I shot film. This is a four hour exposure of Mount Rainier shooting star trails. You can do this digitally. It just requires a little bit more work 'cause the camera has to fire picture after picture after picture, and then you have to compile them into a stacking program later on. But these are ones that I shot when I was working on a Mount Rainier project. A four hour exposure from Plummer Peak, and then from over at Crystal Peak I used a wide angle lens that could reach a little bit to the northern skyline on the right hand side, and the southern skyline on the left, and so you get this very unusual streaking of the clouds, and I did see a plane crossed in front of there as well. Alright, so let's go back and run through these shutter speeds again, but much more quickly on a little waterfall here. And so, we have fast shutter speeds that stop the action, okay? And once they're fast, and they're fast enough you're not gonna notice any difference as you go faster. But as you start slowing the shutter speeds down at a certain point you're gonna hit kind of a break point where you start to notice that movement, and here, it's 250th of a second. I can clearly see blurriness in this photo. Then we're gonna go through an area of what I kinda consider awkward blurriness where there's some movement but not a lot, and you're kinda not sure as to what's going on? And this varies according to the subject that you're shooting, and then once we get down to a 15th of a second we've got to that very nice look of kinda that streaming water, and it continues to look good, and changes a little bit as we get down to a full one second which I think also looks very good. And then as we go beyond one second it doesn't really change. It's not much different at all as we work all our way down to 30 full seconds. And so, for everything that moves there's gonna be a group of fast shutter speeds that stop the action. There's gonna be some in-between shutter speeds where things will often look a little awkward, and then there's gonna be some slower shutter speeds that kinda look nice. And where those are completely depends on the subject, the lens, your angle of view, the size in the viewfinder. All those different factors. And so, it's good to be familiar with your shutter speeds, and how they affect different types of action that you're gonna have in the viewfinder. So, we got a quiz. With what type of subject does the shutter speed not matter? So take a look at this, and we're gonna have one of you answer this question. I'm gonna say subjects that are stationary. Yes, very good, nice job. Round of applause. (audience clapping) I'm starting you out very easy on the quizzes here, okay? But it is something to think about. If we're gonna take a photo of something. Let's just say we're gonna take a picture of this camera here, and it's not moving. We can use any shutter speed possible, and so we're gonna simply choose shutter speeds to control the exposure in our camera. And that's a very valuable tool to have at our disposal so we also have to worry about our camera movement as well which is a topic that we're gonna get into as well. So, I have developed a lot of learning projects for you to go out and test, and learn these things out in the field. And so, I have a learning project. There's a download that goes with the class. I think I have this right in here. (papers rustling) Let me just pull this out here, and so, there are five learning projects that go along with this class, and it's a step by step process of what you need to do to go through these projects yourself. And we have a little video to go along with this because we made a little kind of behind the scenes video of how you can go through the test yourself. So let's show you this little quick video clip right here. Okay, we're ready for our first learning project which is the shutter speed test. Now for this one I'm gonna follow my own little steps here. Step one is we're gonna find a subject where we can take several shots at a constant speed. And we have Jamie and Meg. They're gonna pass the ball back and forth. Show us what you're gonna do here. We're gonna pass the ball back and forth, and we're gonna shoot photos of the ball moving back and forth at different shutter speeds. We're gonna start with a fairly high shutter speed of 1/2,000th of a second, and then we're gonna work our way down in shutter speeds. And we're gonna go ahead, and let's throw that ball. (shutter clicking) Alright, now we're gonna take a quick look at this to see how good we are on focus. And so we're gonna zoom in this ball at 1/2,000th of a second, and you can see those white stripes on the ball look pretty darn sharp. You can go out and you can do these own tests yourself. You can do them on the, don't do them on the freeway. You can be shooting of the freeway. A bicycle trail, or you got somebody's who's gonna ride their bike up and down the street. Choose anything you want, but the idea is just to become more familiar with subjects moving, and what shutter speeds do with them in their final photographs because, hopefully, you're gonna shoot all sorts of amazing, wonderful things with your camera, and you're gonna go into new situations all the time going I've never shot this before. What shutter speed should I use? And you're gonna go back in your memory, and you're gonna remember your learning projects. Oh I remember I did this shutter speed, and it stopped the action of this so I'm gonna try that same shutter speed. And so this is just to give you some more experience. Going forward you'll be able to make wise choices on choosing shutter speeds.

Class Materials

Free Download

Fundamentals of Photography Outline

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Learning Project Videos
Learning Projects PDF
Slides for The Camera Lessons 1-13
Slides for The Sensor Lessons 14-18
Slides for The Lens Lessons 19-31
Slides for The Exposure Lessons 32-42
Slides for Focus Lessons 43-62
Slides for The Gadget Bag Lessons 63-72
Slides for Light Lesson 73-84
Slides for the Art of Edit Lessons 85-93
Slides for Composition Lesson 94-105
Slides for Photographic Vision Lessons 106-113

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

Vlad Chiriacescu

Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!

Student Work