Tag Archive: shutter speed


Last night, a few members of the TCRPMG went to Washington Park to apply what they had learned in the Camera Basics 101 course led by John Iannelli.  I think it was a huge success.  While we were there, I couldn’t help but grab this shot of the statue in the fountain and the amazing sky he was facing.

From where I was standing, it looked like he was yelling to the heavens, perhaps asking for rain.  The texture of the sky made it even more appealing.  I was really happy that I had been there at that exact time.

At the meetup, we discussed how light affects how your image comes out.  We also discussed shutter speed and aperture.  The main components when used together can make some really amazing shots.

We found a nice flower and took pictures of it, with the goal of having a sharply focused main subject with a blurred background (bokeh effect).  It was a great exercise and I think the members really enjoyed learning how this effect was accomplished.

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I have been a photographer for about 8 or 9 years now.  I am a self-proclaimed amateur, but sometimes I get some really good shots.  I missed out on the film era.  Well, I missed out as a serious shooter that is.  I have had cameras for years, but before I got into digital, I had only used little 35mm point and shoot cameras.  Sure, I remember the 110 and the Polaroid, but I never shot seriously back then.

Over the last few years, I have gotten pretty serious in my shooting.  I even started a Meetup group in the area to help others with their passion for photography.  I wont claim to be a great photographer, but I think I do OK.  But sometimes, I run into areas that I am just not good at.  Tonight was a good example.

The weather had been wonky all day.  It was very windy, rainy and gloomy.  Around 5pm it even spit some icy precipitation.  I assume it was sleet.  After the storm, the sun came out and the weather got a little better.  It was still only in the 40s, but it wasn’t as windy as it had been earlier in the day.  The sun was setting and it was a beauty, so I decided to go out on the back deck and grab a few pics.  They came out pretty well, even though there’s only a small area between the trees to see the sunset.

I came back in and got right to editing the pics I had taken.  I even posted one on Facebook.  A friend commented on one of the pics and asked if I had seen the moon.  No, I hadn’t.  I went to the window and looked out, only to see a beautiful moon.  I grabbed the camera and the tripod and back outside I went.  This is where the trouble started.

I got the camera set up on the tripod with the 70-300mm lens on it and set it on manual focus.  I set my f-stops and shutter speed and looks through the viewfinder.  A little blurry.  A little adjustment on the lens and it was nice and clear.  I took a bunch of shots and came inside to process.  Crap.  They are all blurry.  What the…

It wasn’t crisp.  It was not sharp.  What did I do?  So, I looked up some info on the net and bounced it off some people I really respect over at Movie Photo Forums.  I took the advice and tried it again.  The results this time were a little better but still not quite what I had hoped for.  Here is what I got.  Please keep in mind that this is a 100% crop.

Here is the same shot with a little bit of Photoshop tweaking.

I like this one a little better, but it still isn’t good enough.  I guess I need a much more powerful lens and a lot more practice.  Do you have tips for shooting the moon?  Settings you would like to share?  I would love to know what works for you.

See ya soon!

Ever since I was a child, I have loved water.  Heck, I spent most of my first 18 years in a pool or the ocean.  Over the last few years, I have grown very fond of another source of water, the waterfall.  It blows me away that the water can cut out these amazing formations.  What amazes me even more is the way the water looks when you capture it with a slow shutter speed.  It looks so surreal, almost like it is painted.

Before I knew what slow shutter speed pictures of waterfalls were, I swore they were done that way in Photoshop.  I was absolutely convinced that it was altered in some way.  So, one day, a friend took me down to Ka’aterskill falls and said ‘use these settings and see what happens’.  I took a shot and was instantly hooked!

That afternoon, when I got home, I rushed to the computer.  I couldn’t wait to see those pictures.  I opened them up in Photoshop and couldn’t believe my eyes.  It was like magic!  I kept thinking to myself ‘I did that!  I took that picture’.  I think it took a few days before it set in that I took those pictures and it was incredibly easy.  Since that day, I have made it my mission to photograph as many waterfalls as I can.

Do you know of any waterfalls in the area?  What do you prefer – the slow shutter speed falls or do you like the natural look of the water coming over the falls?  Let me know!  See ya soon!

‘Round we go…

Yesterday’s blog was about a blacksmith at the Altamont Fair.  I promised I would follow it up with pictures of the rides I took just after dark.  As promised, I have set today’s blog up to share those pictures with you.

Shooting at night brings out a whole different set of rules and techniques.  First, you need a tripod.  Because of the slow shutter speed, any movement of the camera will cause blurry pictures.  A remote is very helpful in these situations as well.  The hardest part about this was setting up a tripod with hundreds of people walking by.  It is pretty difficult to stay out of the way or people, strollers and kids running by inches from your tripod.

If you’ve always wanted to try this, I will offer some basic settings to try to get you started.  I will post each picture and the exif data (camera settings) that I used to get the results shown.

Spinner

Spinner

0.25 sec (1/4)
f22
18MM
ISO 800

Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel

2.5 seconds
f22
27MM
ISO800


1/125
f22
22MM
ISO800

1/125
f22
24MM
ISO800

1/60
f22
31MM
ISO800

Have you done any night photography?  Do you like the results?  Are there any questions I can answer for you?  Please subscribe to my blog!