Home Awesome Photo Tricks Fun With Shutter Speed
Fun With Shutter Speed

Let's have some fun with some of the basics we learned in the Digital Photography Basics section. In that section we talked about how shutter speed affects the outcome of the image. Let's use it to our advantage to take some unique pictures.

If you remember, using a very fast shutter speed freezes your subject in time. The opposite happens when you slow down your shutter speed. To me, a slow shutter speed is something 1/20th of a second, or slower. Take a look at this image of a merry go round in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. A shutter speed of 8 full seconds was used (no that is not a typo, 8 full seconds!). As the merry go round was spinning, the lights created a nice sense of motion in the picture, much more interesting than a typical still photo.

Trying to hold your camera still for 8 full seconds is impossible without the entire picture being extremely blurry. A tripod of some sort must be used. In this case, I did not bring a full size tripod with me to Paris, but I did have my handy Joby Gorilla Pod with me. If you don't have one, get it and put it in your camera bag at all times! I would not have been able to take this picture without it, and I would not have been able to fly home to California to pick up my tripod.

If you keep your creative eye busy, you will find many situations where you can use a slow shutter speed to your advantage. Anything moving will appear in motion when you shoot with a slower shutter speed. Have fun with it and don't worry about wasting film. With the price of memory cards so low, you can take as many pictures as you need.


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