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Author Topic: Article: 5 Things You Need to Know About Shutter S  (Read 3198 times)
Jonathan Wienke
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« on: June 11, 2005, 01:46:28 AM »
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Some random thoughts:

Many digital cameras do not have CCDs. None of the Canon DSLRs (except the original 1D) have a CCD sensor, they are CMOS, which is different. Strike "CCD" and replace it with "sensor".

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2. How is shutter speed expressed?
If you look at modern digital cameras, shutter speeds are usually expressed as 1/8th of a second. The range of shutter speeds can be expressed as: 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, with each one being a fraction of a second. Each speed in this series is roughly half that of the one on the left.

Sorry, this "expressed as 1/8 of a second" gobbledygook makes no sense. "Expressed as a fraction of a second" works much better. And keep in mind that just about all cameras allow half-stop exposure adjustments, and many allow 1/3 stop adjustment increments. You might also want to explain what a "stop" is, given the term's frequent usage in photographic discussions.

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3. Choosing the Correct Shutter Speed
Hereís the important question. How do you select the correct shutter speed when taking photos? Well, if you have a point-and-shoot camera, then it may not matter too much. Simply set the camera to automatic mode and snap the picture. The cameraís in-built auto exposure settings will take care of the shutter speed settings for you.

This is silly. The shutter speed always matters. Leaving the shutter speed selection to the camera via an auto mode doesn't mean the shutter speed doesn't matter, it just means the camera user has surrendered this choice to the camera, which may or may not be up to the task of choosing something appropriate.

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Use a slow shutter speed (say 1/60 or lower) if you want to introduce some blur in the picture to display speed in the subject. Remember, however, that a slow shutter speed will mean you need to hold the camera totally still for a longer period of time. If you canít do this, your image will usually turn out bad. To work around the problem, use a tripod or steady your arms somewhere before taking the shot. As a general rule, if the shutter speed is 1/30 or slower, Iíll definitely use my tripod to steady the camera.

You're doing your readers a big disservice here. The minimum shutter speed for acceptably sharp images depends heavily on the focal length of the lens, subject movement, and the steadiness of the camera operator. 1/200 can result in unacceptably blurred shots if you're shooting with a 300mm lens or P&S equivalent. The 1/(35mm equivalent focal length) rule is much more useful than just saying 1/30.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2005, 09:37:23 AM »
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Okay, my turn to be the crumudgeon...

I am wondering why anybody takes the time to respond to these posts?  From what I've seen, the author almost never responds.  Moreover it is clear (at least to me) from the nature of the latest posts that he's never read (or more correctly applied) any of the generally good advice he's received from the earlier responses.

It is clear his articles are directed at beginners -- very beginners -- and while I feel he is to be commended for his efforts to educate that niche, I can't help but wonder why he posts here but rarely responds...  

Jack
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2005, 01:30:33 PM »
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When one takes on the task of teaching, it is always necessary to exclude some information, depending on time, space, level of student, etc.
I'm well aware that beginner material needs to be simplified; it also needs to be correct.
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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2005, 09:49:24 AM »
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a link, and his main site:
Wow, that first link explains it all...  Music expert, computer and technology expert, baby expert, money-making expert, car expert, photography expert -- all that and an expert author to boot...    

However, my personal favorite was his breast-feeding tips.
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sergio
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2005, 08:00:52 PM »
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I know that we can always count on JW to immediately 'right any wrong" whether it needs "righting" or not.
Exactly. Though you state it with sarcasm, that is one of the principal reasons I visit forums: to learn from others.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2005, 11:27:14 PM »
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Yeah, well, in this instance, the guy posting needed JW's response. People like this guy are what really waters down and ultimately ruins any sort of good and unique information on the web and newsgroups. They do it not for their love of any sort of education or knowledge or craft, but simply for personal gain. Usually, as most of you can see, it's other people information regurgitated inaccurately.
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gary_hendricks
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2005, 09:48:21 PM »
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Here is an article I published on my website about shutter speed. I hope it'll be useful to some of you in this forum.

5 Things You Need to Know About Shutter Speed
by Gary Hendricks


If youíre new to photography, you may be struggling with some of the terms used in the industry. Well, one of the most fundamental principles in photography is that of shutter speed. Learning to control the shutter speed is critical to taking good pictures. This article will highlight 5 important facts about shutter speed, which you must understand to take good photographs in a wide range of conditions.
 
1. What is shutter speed?
Letís begin with a basic definition of shutter speed. Now, the shutter in a digital camera is a thin sheet covering the CCD (think of the CCD as Ďfilmí). When this shutter opens, it exposes light from the exterior onto the CCD, hence allow a picture to be taken. The length of time that the shutter remains open is termed the shutter speed.

A key concept here Ė the longer the shutter remains open (i.e. the lower the shutter speed), the greater the amount of light that is allowed into the camera. And vice versa, the faster the shutter closes (i.e. the higher the shutter speed), the smaller the amount of light that is allowed into the camera.

2. How is shutter speed expressed?
If you look at modern digital cameras, shutter speeds are usually expressed as 1/8th of a second. The range of shutter speeds can be expressed as: 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, with each one being a fraction of a second. Each speed in this series is roughly half that of the one on the left.

3. Choosing the Correct Shutter Speed
Hereís the important question. How do you select the correct shutter speed when taking photos? Well, if you have a point-and-shoot camera, then it may not matter too much. Simply set the camera to automatic mode and snap the picture. The cameraís in-built auto exposure settings will take care of the shutter speed settings for you.

If, however, you like to play with manual settings and have a more advanced camera, then the choice of shutter speed clearly matters. What you need to remember is this Ė shutter speeds are very closely linked to movement.


City street photo taken with a slow shutter speed

Use a slow shutter speed (say 1/60 or lower) if you want to introduce some blur in the picture to display speed in the subject. Remember, however, that a slow shutter speed will mean you need to hold the camera totally still for a longer period of time. If you canít do this, your image will usually turn out bad. To work around the problem, use a tripod or steady your arms somewhere before taking the shot. As a general rule, if the shutter speed is 1/30 or slower, Iíll definitely use my tripod to steady the camera.


An passing car taken with a fast shutter speed
 
Use a fast shutter speed (say 1/125 or higher) if you need to capture a fast moving subject. Good examples include a passing car or a bird in flight. Now, one problem with fast shutter speeds is that you can totally miss the shot because the shutter opens and closes so fast. To workaround this, you can try one of two things. First, avoid the camera LCD - look through the viewfinder with one eye and use the other eye to spot the subject crossing the cameraís field of view. Second, you can try uses a lens that increases the field of view, allowing you more time to take the picture.
 
4. Make Use of the Light Meter
Another thing I find useful is to make use of the light meter in your camera. Most advanced digital cameras should have this feature. The light meter can tell you if there is too much or too little ambient light.

If itís too bright, then you can set a fast shutter speed like 1/250 - the shutter will quickly open and close so that too much light doesn't get in. If itís too dark, then do the reverse Ė use a slow shutter speed to give the camera time to absorb light into the camera.

5. Direction of Movement
OK, besides the speed of your subject, the direction of movement of your subject is also important. Look at the diagram below which I use to explain this concept.

http://www.basic-digital-photography.com/image-f....d-3.gif

For a given shutter speed, if your subject is running perpendicular to the camera, then you need a faster shutter speed to capture the shot. If your subject is running at an angle towards the camera, then a slower shutter speed would suffice. An example is a photo of your pet dog. A dog running towards you would require a slower shutter speed then a dog running across you.
 
Conclusion
I hope you now understand shutter speed a little better. When I started out in digital photography, I was simply snapping pictures without understanding the concept of shutter speed. Bad mistake! Take the time to understand the fundamentals of shutter speed and youíll be surprised how much your photography skills will improve.
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mcanyes
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2005, 08:49:52 AM »
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When one takes on the task of teaching, it is always necessary to exclude some information, depending on time, space, level of student, etc. Naturally, when on excludes something, another can come along and "disagree" with what was taught. I know that we can always count on JW to immediately 'right any wrong" whether it needs "righting" or not.

Michael
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Michael Canyes
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boku
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2005, 11:21:34 AM »
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I always got the idea he was trying to generate traffic for his website. I'll be kind and leave it at that.
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Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Tim Gray
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« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2005, 09:28:39 AM »
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a link, and his main site:
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Woodcorner
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2005, 11:24:34 AM »
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This guy has been spamming the Newsnet for years with silly questions and (mostly) useless information. His main intention is to pull traffic to his various websites for whatever (monetary?) reason.

He used to pollute various newsgroups by posting the same questions over and over again. Same thing here with his "useful" articles.

If you'd like to see just a few of the newsgroups he has posted to under his pseudonym "Timberwolf", check out this Google search.

I am sure he will not respond to your remarks.

Enough said.

Andrew
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RobertJ
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2005, 04:35:23 PM »
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This guy giving tips about photography is like me telling women how to breast feed.  Oh wait, he's already done that too.
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mcanyes
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« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2005, 06:12:53 AM »
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I agree that the shutter speed material could be improved. And JW does have the knowledge to do it. However, the hostility that I often find in his posts wears on me after a while.
Michael
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Michael Canyes
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howard smith
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2005, 12:13:07 PM »
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Another item to add to the list is the fact that the actual shutter speed may not be the same as the dial (inaccurate).  I have seen this with the faster shutter speeds of mechanical shutters.  For example, the "1/500" speed on my Hasselblad 150mm lens is actually more like 1/350.  This might be adjusted, but I haven't bothered.  I just know the exposure won't be as metered at 1/500 and avoid that speed or adjust the f/stop accordingly.

Errors are less noticable and important at the slow end.  A fraction of a second one way or the other at 4 seconds doen't matter.

Frequently, photographers just assume things are as labeled.
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