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Thread: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

  1. #1
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    New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    This article isn't yet public on the main site, but I thought I'd release it here first. I am still planning on adding another application and example, but other than that it should be done.

    Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    This article covers lots of applications of using different shutter speeds, in addition to a brief overview on how it fits into exposure (although this is mostly covered in the earlier camera exposure tutorial). The main application it leaves out is really long exposures, but that's because I'm planning on doing an article about long exposure photography at some point.

    New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    As usual, please let me know if you feel anything is unclear, if you notice any typos or just want to add something from your own experience.

    Many thanks!
    Last edited by McQ; 2nd February 2011 at 04:05 AM.

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Seems very good, Sean. Plenty of creative opportunities there. Perhaps we could use this for a monthly theme comp in March - 'using slow/fast shutter speed'?

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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    Perhaps we could use this for a monthly theme comp in March - 'using slow/fast shutter speed'?
    That sounds like it could be interesting. You may need to win another themed comp to choose the next one though, but you've done that before

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    It's got a good flow to it Sean - very logical, very clear. Another one that will prove to be very popular, I have no doubt.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Hi Sean,

    For a given exposure, the range between the shortest and longest shutter speeds is roughly 10,000X for SLR cameras, and 500X for compact cameras.
    I agree with Donald - well written. I was wondering if you could expand on the above statement in terms of what you meean by the numbers. I think I underrstand what you are saying but I would apprecaite a little explanation to make sure I am on the same wavelenght, if possible.

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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    I was wondering if you could expand on the above statement in terms of what you meean by the numbers. I think I underrstand what you are saying but I would apprecaite a little explanation to make sure I am on the same wavelenght, if possible.
    They're just ballpark numbers, but in general:

    A given SLR Camera and lens combination typically has an aperture range of f/2.0 - f/32 (depending on the lens), and an ISO range of 100-3200/6400 (depending on the model). Yes, you can also select higher ISO speeds with the latest cameras, but one could also argue about whether this should be included in the usable range. One could also dip down to f/1.4, but this is less common. Regardless, this means that the shutter speed at f/2.0 and ISO 3200 or 6400 is 13-14 stops faster than at f/32 and ISO 100. In terms of ratios, a difference of 13 stops is 8192X (2^13) and 14 stops is 16384X (2^14), hence the ~10,000X value given for SLR cameras.

    Similarly, with compact cameras you often have a range of f/2.8 - f/8 and an ISO range of 50-400 or 800. Using the same math, this means that the ratio between longest and shortest shutter speeds (at a given exposure) is roughly 500X.

    Do you see what I was getting at now? Is this something that you think should be clarified in the original article, or even moved somewhere else and not mentioned up-front? Thanks for the feedback.
    Last edited by McQ; 2nd February 2011 at 10:49 PM.

  7. #7
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Thanks for coming back so quickly Sean. The problem I have and I am sure many others do as well is that we are not as strong on the maths side. I understand it more in terms of the number of stops than as a ratio. This is what I thought you were getting at but the numbers threw me.

    You talk in the body of the tutorial about fast and slow shutter speeds and these relate to f-stops so it makes sense to me to keep a common numerical reference value to flow through the lecture. I can also see the advantage of a DLSR verses a compact when you say one has a 14 stop range and the other around half that.

    I think the general reader would understand f-stops rather than ratios.

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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    I think the general reader would understand f-stops rather than ratios.
    I've now broken down that paragraph into two, and moved the bit about total shutter speed range to the end. It really shouldn't have been mentioned before the influence of available light anyways. This part now reads:

    The above combinations of ISO speed and f-number (aperture) enable an amazingly broad range of selectable shutter speeds. Regardless of the combination, more light enables faster maximum shutter speeds, whereas less light permits slower minimum shutter speeds.

    For a given exposure, SLR cameras also typically have a much greater selectable range of shutter speeds than do compact cameras. For example, this range is roughly 13-14 stops (or 10,000X) with most SLR cameras, but often just 8-9 stops (or 500X) with compact cameras.

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    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Yes, I think that reads better and provides a measure of difference between the two camera styles most understand.

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    Re: New Tutorial: Using Camera Shutter Speed Creatively

    Wow!
    I've really enjoyed reading through the tutorials, and this one is great, I'm really interested in all the artistic ways you can capture different moments with different shutter speeds. The little box with settings and adverse effects of is really good and simple to understand.

    Thanks for making this

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