Photography Tutorials and Articles

Creative Uses Of Shutter Speed

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Creative uses of shutter speed in photography

Part 3

Shutter speed is one of several methods used to control the amount of light recorded by the camera’s digital sensor or film. It is also used to manipulate the visual effects of the final image beyond its luminosity.

Examples of creative uses of Shutter Speed

Images taken with a slower shutter speed invoke a visual sense of movement. Slower shutter speeds are often selected to suggest movement in a still photograph of a moving subject.

Creative uses of shutter speed

Slow shutter speed makes the moving objects blurred and creates a sense of movement

Excessively fast shutter speeds can cause a moving subject to appear unnaturally frozen. For instance, a moving car would look like a parked car with no indication of movement.

Creative uses of shutter speed

Fast shutter speed freezes the moving object. in this photo the car looks like a parked car, although it was moving.

When a slower shutter speed is selected, a longer time passes from the moment the shutter opens till the moment it closes. More time is available for movement in the subject to be recorded by the camera.

Creative uses of shutter speed

Slow shutter makes the moving element blurry

A slightly slower shutter speed will allow the photographer to introduce an element of blur – in this photo the water is moving and gets blurred out – while the rest of the image is static and remains sharp.

Slow Shutter speed using tripod

Slow Shutter speed using tripod

The exact point at which the background or subject will start to blur depends on the speed at which the object is moving, the angle that the object is moving in relation to the camera, the distance it is from the camera and the focal length of the lens in relation to the size of the digital sensor.

Zoom Burst

Zoom burst is a technique which entails the variation of the focal length of a zoom lens during a longer exposure. In the moment that the shutter is opened, the lens is zoomed in, changing the focal length during the exposure. The centre of the image remains sharp, while the details away from the centre form a radial blur, which causes a strong visual effect, forcing the eye into the centre of the image.

Creative uses of shutter speed

Zoom Burst technique using slow shutter speed and zooming.

Creative uses of shutter speed

Zoom Burst technique using slow shutter speed and zooming.

There is a lot more to learn about the ways we can use shutter speed for creative effects. In our Digital Camera Bootcamp workshop we cover even more. Digital Camera Bootcamp is an eight week program with lots of hands-on and practical assignments. It starts on September 16. There are only a few spots left, please register now to secure your spot.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team

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