The Passage Of Time
when I'm photographing wildlife, I'm a big fan of using slow shutter speeds to create a sense of movement. Heard of galloping wildebeest, for example, could look very static when stopped dead by a far shutter speed. Allowing light to move across the frame as the shutter remains open, however, can give an image a much more authentic narrative. Shutter speed controls how time appears Far shutter speed freezes time revealing detail and form. A slow shutter speed blurs time to create a sense of visual motion. Now, like most things in this course, there's no right or wrong shutter speed for any given subject or set of circumstances. There's just the appropriate shutter speed. They capture the story you want to tell now to show you how you might apply this concept in the field. Let's go back to Weymouth Bay. My narrative for this image of Weymouth Bay is stillness, but I've got to see in the frame, which is moving with the tide. So there's a contradiction that I need to negate at a standard ...
mid range, just a speed. This is what the image would look like now. There's nothing particularly wrong with this image. Technically, but compositionally, it doesn't tell the story. I want to tell. What I really want to do is remove any sense of motion in the water. Now, if I set a super slow shutter speed, this is the image I get now. Image and intention are aligned. Stillness. This is what I'm doing all the time. When I'm looking through the viewfinder, I'm asking myself, How am I responding emotionally to this scene? What elements in the scene and making me feel that way and how can I use the camera to recreate those feelings for others? Asking and answering questions like this before you press the shutter is how you start to use a camera to create the image you visualize and turn a snapshot into a photograph. Shutter speed and lens aperture are your primary tools for changing the aesthetic and emotion of a photograph. Play with them. Experiment. Get to know how different settings affect the look and feel of the images you create for shutter speed. Waterfalls are a really great subject to experiment with, but if you live nowhere near a waterfall, you can achieve the same thing with a running tap. Set your camera on a tripod for stability during longer exposure times and then take several pictures at different shutter speed settings, starting with 1 1/1000 through to, let's say a second. For aperture, get a set of colored pencils, frame them in the viewfinder and focus around one third of the way into the picture space. Now take pictures from your widest setting to your narrowest setting and compare the different images for emphasis. Get to know these two controls like the back of your hand. They are the two dominant variables.