Monday, January 26, 2009

Instructor's Tip: Vary the Shutter Speed

I hope you enjoy this week's "Instructor's Tip" by one of my favorite instructors, award winning nature photographer Russ Burden. To learn more about how Russ captured this image, join him on one of his photo tours. Visit Russ Burden Photography to get more information.


"To attain a proper exposure, there are numerous shutter speed / f stop combinations to use. With this in mind, experiment with slower than normal and faster than normal speeds to create different effects from what would be considered normal capture. For instance, a race car travels at a high speed so the natural tendency is to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. As this is the case, many images of like subjects tend to look the same. Here’s where I encourage you to do some experimentation. If a subject shows movement, slow down your shutter speed and pan with the action. If you’re shooting digitally, check the LCD to see if what you created worked. If there’s too much movement, try panning more smoothly or bump up the shutter speed. Conversely, slow it down if there’s not enough. In the accompanying image of the sandhill crane in flight, rather than add to my images of sharply captured ones in flight, I slowed down my shutter to 1/25 of a second and followed the bird with a panning motion."


To take a class with Russ or a fellow Digital Photo Academy instructor in your area, check out the Digital Photo Academy. I took Russ' intermediate and advanced courses last year, and he continues to be a strong source of knowledge and encouragement as I progress in my photography.

Don't forget to check Take Great Pictures for Russ' most recent tips. On the home page, click on the "Photo Tips And Techniques" button in the left hand column. Additionally, check out his "Digital Tip of the Month" found by clicking on the Digital Photography button.

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