Shakin' It Up {39/365}

Ok, as promised, today's Monday Lesson is about shutter speed! Shutter speed is CRUCIAL!  Probably even more so than aperture.  Shutter speed determines how fast your shutter clicks.  It takes into account how bright your scene is to how dark it is - the brighter, the faster; the darker, the slower; also it's crucial to know what lens you're using and what "speed" your "film" is (more next week, by the by).

I setup a little still life for this lesson:

I was hand holding the camera in both photos.  No tripod with a 135mm lens.  The thing with handholding a camera is you have to worry about things like: breathing, your pulse, and minor tremors as they all effect how still you keep your camera. You shake without even knowing it!

The top photo shows a much slower shutter speed, hence the blurriness.  It was shot at 1/40th of a second.  The bottom photo is sharp as it was shot at 1/160th of a second.   Those two shutter speeds are between the number 135 (my len's focal length).

Why the difference?

The key to determining shutter speed is what light is available and what your lens focal length is (it's mm).

At 135mm, the only way to shoot tripod-free and without blurriness is to shoot at 1/135th of a second or faster.  (Take the number of your lens and put a 1 above it.)  So, any shutter speed of 1/135th or faster will prevent the movements of my body/hand from blurring the exposure - the lens doesn't stay open enough to record it).

The bottom picture was shot at 1/160th of a second.  Notice how much sharper it is?  My body was moving, but not fast enough to show up in a 1/160th of a second exposure.

Now, since I shot FASTER in the SAME light, I had to increase something.  Not my aperture, as my D.O.P is the same (remember from last lesson) but I had to increase my "film" sensitivity to the light - my ISO (next week's lesson).

For now, when you're shooting in low light, don't shoot slower than your lens focal length unless you have a tripod to steady your involuntary hand movements.

We move even when we don't realize it!!!