as i mentioned before , to make it simple and easy to understand , shutter speed is the period you are going to open your window for so you can let the light come in .
i’ll go through what’s going in the camera in a fast way so you can understand more , basically there’s a mirror that reflects what the lens see to your view finder “that’s in DSLRs” and when you take the picture that mirror “or the shutter” goes up to let the light and what you saw reflects to the sensor , so shutter speed is how long you are letting your camera sensor receive the light .
if you got a DSLR , there are some adjustable numbers on your screen while you are shooting “1/4000 , 1/2000, 1/120,1/80 , 1” , 8”….etc” what that means ?
for example if it’s 1/4000 that means the shutter will go up and down for a speed of 1/4000 sec and let the sensor receive what the lens is seeing for 1/4000 sec , if it’s 1” that means it will do the same thing but for 1 sec , 30” means 30 sec … etc.
so what that means ? how do we use it ? when to shoot 1/4000 and when to shoot 30” ?
as i mentioned before “ in my first article “ , in each picture you are taking you should consider three main things :
after understanding every thing of those 3 things you’ll be able to shoot good quality pictures .
for example , you are shooting outside at the morning , that means there’s alot of light , so that means alot of light will come in your camera and the sensor will get a huge amount of light .
set your camera on A mode “aperture priority mode” make it for example F/5.6 , and watch the number of the shutter speed , it will be higher than 1/250 sec ,for example it’s 1/2000 , try to take a sample image ,then go to manual mode now (M) , keep your aperture at F/5.6 and change the shutter speed to 1/500 , take a picture of the same scene , you’ll see that your picture is almost white , why ? well alot of light got to your camera sensor so it got let’s say “blinded” .
another example for you to understand , you are indoor , and there’s no enough light , change the dial and make your camera on aperture priority mode , set it at f/8 , watch your shutter speed on the screen , it’ll be less than 1/125 , for example it’s 1/60 , take a picture , then set it back to manual mode and make your shutter speed 1/250 and the same f/8 , take a picture , it’ll be black . why ? no enough light got to the sensor .
it’s not only about how white or black your picture is , there’s some techniques and rules you need to stick with , so what can you do with shutter speed thing ?
for example your are shooting moving subjects , try it your self , set your camera dial on shutter speed mode , give it a shutter speed of 1/250 , take a sample image , then give it a shutter speed of 1/15 or 1 sec , take a sample image , what you’ll notice is when you took your shot with a shutter speed of 1/15 or 1 sec , your picture is blurred , what basically happened is that the your shutter let your camera sensor receive what’s in front of your lens for a speed that’s less than the speed of the moving subject , so it captured those movements during the open shutter and your shot is a result of some movements combined together for a specific period “ your shutter speed “ .
while it was clear and sharp when the shutter speed was 1/250 because your shutter speed was faster than those movements so it was able to freeze the motion .
what if there’s no enough light and you want to take a picture of someone , well after few articles you’ll know what you gonna do in that situation when you understand the shutter speed , aperture priority and ISO sensitivity , maybe you will need a flash , flash is not used only when the light is poor , sometimes we use it at the mid-day , i’ll talk about flash photography later .
so out of this example you need to understand this rule , don’t shoot moving subjects under a shutter speed of 1/60 “including faces like portraits , i know your models are sitting but they will blur and they won’t be sharp enough “.
another thing you need to measure if you are using a zoom lens , for example you are zoomed at 55mm , then your shutter speed should be more than 1/60 , 85mm , then your shutter should be over 1/100 and so on .
that’s for moving subjects , what if you are shooting still subjects “buildings„,etc” and there’s no enough light?
for example , you are shooting a building or a bridge and there’s no enough light , what you need to understand and think of is how to let more light get through your camera and fulfill your camera sensor with light , basically you will set a low shutter speed , for example 1/15 sec or 1 sec or 15 sec … etc , what will happen is your shot will be blurred , the reason of that is the moving subject now is your camera it self , you can’t keep your hands still 100% for less than 1/30 sec , what you need now is something called “ tripod “ , you have seen a tripod before for sure , will setup your camera on your tripod so you make sure that your camera won’t shake for any reason ( not including earthquakes ), if you don’t have a tripod with you , well then try to setup your camera on a bag , rock , anything that doesn’t move and stable cause you will end up hating photography if your camera got damaged .
hope you understood what shutter speed means now , practice on that and my next article will show you different situations for shutter speed and how make some effects on your shots using shutter speed technique .
look at the top side of your camera “ dslr , compact camera…etc ” you will see some modes , like the portrait mode ( represented by a lady ), macro ( a flower ) , Auto …. etc.
well ignore all above , NEVER use them , to be honest , i haven’t use any in my life , what you need to consider is only these 4 modes :
i’m not the ultimate photographer but i only use manual , that’s cause i understand the light and the technical part in the camera and i’m smarter than my camera so you are ! so you’ll have to be able to do that at the end !
before we start , there’s 2 things you need to know and i’ll be talking about each thing with more details later , these are :
to understand that , we can simply imagine that you are in your room and you got a window , so then :
the aperture priority is how large or small the window that’s letting the light getting through to your room .
shutter speed is for how long you gonna open this window .
let’s start with Program mode , this mode will make you able to shoot with/without flash and also adjust the iso “ i’ll talk about iso later but for now it is simply how sensitive the camera sensor is “.using this mode is like using the Auto mode but here you got some minor controls on your camera .
you can use this mode whenever you want specially when the light is fare , like in morning .
Shutter speed priority mode , that will make you able to adjust the shutter speed and the camera will choose the aperture priority that goes fine with the shutter speed you’ve chosen depending on the light you got , you can use this mode when you are only caring about the shutter speed , like when shooting moving subjects .
Aperture priority mode , this is the opposite of shutter speed mode , here you will be able to set the aperture of your lens and the camera it self will choose the right shutter speed that goes with the aperture you’ve set depending on the light you got.
Manual , camera here won’t do anything and it’ll be like a film camera , you need to set the Aperture priority and the Shutter speed your self , here you will be able to control your camera and choose the exact results you want to see , but for sure it needs some experience .
as a photographer , manual mode plus a fixed zoom lens “prime lens” is the art of photography .
your photograph can be a memento , try to keep it simple and natural , you don’t want someone to remember your photograph and say “ we were trying to give a good pose” you want them to remember what they were actually doing and how they were enjoying their time so your photograph becomes a part of their past.
“ keep it simple “
don’t bring lots of things into your frame , don’t ask your subject to pose a hard pose , keep it simple , ask your subject to act normal as if there’s no camera around , keep your poses normal and simple , a complicated pose might look awkward , you don’t want to take a picture of someone who’s stressed so make them feel relaxed .
for example your are in a weeding party and you want to take pictures of your friends and family , mainly you’ll be asked to capture a group of people , now you got two things you need to consider , first , how do i want them to pose , best pose is to keep them nature and relaxed so don’t ask and guide too much , secondly , which angle i’ll be taking , “you can read my previous article about angles and composition” , through experience , if they are 4 subjects and more then take your photograph horizontal , if they are less than 4 then take your photograph vertical .
what if you are trying to make a photo session with someone , how would you take your pictures and how would treat him/her so you can deliver the best of what you got .
for example you are shooting your friend and making a photo session for fun , you are taking pictures of something alive , keep that in mind , cause after all you want your photograph feels alive filled up with energy so it’s not just a matter of poses , talk with your model , laugh , joke„, make him/her feel relaxed , take your pictures at the right moment , maybe between the poses , try to make your model look the best she/he could look , ok how?
well make your model stand straight not slumped , make her/his legs standing at 45 degrees angle towards you , then make him/her twist their body towards you , relax the shoulders “it’s better for girls to relax the shoulder that’s facing you more cause that will give them more of the feminine look , a small forward tilt specially the chin tilt , that will make your model look younger and thinner , relax the forehead cause you don’t want your model to get back yelling at you that she looks older , use chairs or a bouquet according to the occasion , with those accessories you can hide some parts of the body that you don’t want to show , last but not least , guide your self with the guidelines we talked about before .
what if you are taking pictures of couples and groups of people , here you should focus on something , you should clearly display the relationship between the people in your photograph , make them feel relaxed and let the emotions flow , bring it all in your photograph , it’s not necessary to pose your subjects , mix between ideas , kissing , standing , hugging , running , posing … treat them as if you are their friend and you are here to make them have fun so you can break the ice between you and them .
dealing with kids , kids can be difficult to pose , to fix this issue you need to allow them to be themselves , keep joking or make their parents play with them , you want to take a photograph of a young child , you want to show their spirit and attitude , so it’s worthless to ask a child to pose like an adult , it’ll ruin your photograph .
keep your model’s identities , you don’t want to ask a guy to pose like a girl , a bulk guy to cross his legs , a young girl to pose like an older woman… etc
since we’ve became across the very basics , now let’s get more into photography and reach the technical part , but always remember :
“ it’s not the camera it’s the photographer “ .
have your own taste and touch , be creative .
at the end you’ll have the basics of photography and the technical knowledge in your hands then you’ll be able to share with me your work .
point of view in photography means the position from which your camera sees the scene , you might want to take the photograph from your eye level , from above , from below or maybe becoming the subject , horizontal or vertical .
you have to ask your self “ what do i want to bring in my photograph and how can i make it unique ” .
simplicity is the key , keep your frame simple , focus on your subject , let your photograph speaks it self .
for example your are shooting in a green yard and lots of flowers in there , you can shoot a group of flowers from above or maybe from below , or you might want to shoot one single flower from below or above and give it a depth of filed “i’ll be talking about depth of field later on “ , don’t be that kind of photographers who stand then starts zooming , use your mind , that’s one of the reasons why i use and recommend using prime lenses “fixed zoom lenses like the old 35mm film cameras “ . there’s no main rule in delivering your point of view in your photographs , but this theory guides you .
another example , you are making a portrait , you can shoot head shot , head and shoulder shot , head to waist and whole body , one of the mistakes i’ve seen few days ago is one of my friend posted a pictures of her , the photographer made the shot head to waist , but the issue is she was wearing those dresses that become ultra wide starting from the waist “i don’t know what you girls call those dresses” , anyways her waist and hip looked so big and that made her look very fat , so before you take your picture consider the dress style , your model body … etc. “my next article will be on posing and treating subject”.
rule of third it’s the main important rule you need to consider when you are shooting pictures, it’s really easy and as soon as you start using it you will notice some improvements in your photographs like i did few years ago.
have you seen some guidelines in your view finder or on your mobile screen or your digital camera LCD while you are shooting ? all kinds of cameras got those guidelines ,from sittings turn it on , now you’ll see some lines crossing each other making ‘ squares ’ , your screen or view finder now seems to be a tic-tac-toe board and your image now have been broken down to nine equal squares “you got options for more than 9 squares but let’s keep it simple and use 9 squares”, the four points where these lines intersect are the strongest focal points , the lines are the second strongest focal points .
so why is it important ? try it your self .
for example , take a picture of someone’s face and central one of those four points on his eye , you’ll notice now that his eye draw some attention in your photograph , use this rule to decide which subject or element will take attention in your photograph and also it’ll make your photographs look more arranged and you’ll be taking your pictures easier .
“ a picture is worth a thousand words”
try to give a story out of your photograph , for example guide your self with leading lines rule , leading lines are lines within an image that leads the eye to another point in the image or even out of the image .
for example you are in the street and you want to take a picture of the road , you can simply focus on something and take your photograph , or you can use the leading lines so you lead the eyes that will see your photograph to the point you want them to think of , you can take a picture of the road showing the endless length , here you gave your shot some mystery .
there’s an issue you might face , that’s when you want to photograph a subject but suddenly you get another subject blocking your main subject , it’s not necessary to zoom in just to reach your subject and bring it up in your photograph , you can use those blocking subjects to frame your main subject .
for example there are some trees and behind those trees your subject lies , you can frame your subject with those trees .
another example is that you are sitting indoor and your subject is behind an open door , instead of zooming in you can frame your subjects with the door’s frame .
it’s your right to photograph anything you want , take the initiative and try to be unique .