The Monday Lesson

With the 4th of July fast approaching…I’m going to talk (or type) about shutter speed today and how you can use it to get great creative images 🙂
On your camera (most of the time) you will find a shutter speed priority setting or “S”.
This will allow you to control how long the shutter is open…or the time it will take the camera to capture your image. The numbers can go as high as 8000 and as low as 1 or “Bulb”.
Let’s talk about what these numbers mean. The average setting you will use is 60 or 80 (or 1/60th of a second) anything below 60, you will want to use a tripod to avoid blurry photos due to camera shake. The higher the number, the faster the shutter speed. The lower the number, the longer it will take to capture your image. “Bulb” is the manual setting that allows you to leave the camera shutter open as long as you want….you can leave it on a tripod all night and track the movement of stars if you want! 🙂
One way we can use shutter speed is to control how much light is allowed into the camera to properly expose your image (it works alongside the aperture or F stop).
Another, more fun, way we can use shutter speed is to control how much motion is captured in your image.
For example…if you were photographing a waterfall or a humming bird and wanted to “freeze” the motion, you would want to use a high number such as 250 (1/250th of a second) or higher. This will allow you to capture the humming bird’s wings and see every drop of water in the waterfall.
If you wanted to capture a smooth, flowing waterfall or the blurring speed of a humming bird in flight, you will want to set your shutter speed to 40 (1/40th of a second) or lower.
Now we get to the real reason I wanted to share this lesson with you today.
Last year, I decided to have some fun of my own while our boys had fun with their sparklers. I set my camera at 6″ (or a shutter speed of 6 seconds) and “wrote” my boy’s names in the air.

It is so much fun to create art with sparklers!! Get out your tripods (or stabilize your camera on anything handy) and set your shutter speed to a really slow setting. Have fun and experiment with different shutter speeds. I plan on trying new ideas this year and I’ll be sure to share the results with all of you!

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