Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Stream: wading through the known to discover the possible, with faster shutter speeds.

While shooting the stream last week ( see previous post) with slow shutter speeds I was reminded that the direction and nearness of the subject matter had a lot on influence on the end result. Whether the falling water was shot from in front or from the side for example, or if the the main movement was very near or far away  -  the actual amount of relative motion. Today this reality was also evident when shooting the same subject with fast and faster shutter speeds.

Close and fast and moving across
 my line of sight.
 Fast shutter created a different effect
 from a slow one. Interesting!
 ps. the blur
 is from a shallow field of focus.

Pushing shutter speeds of course is done at a price, noise (or graininess) becomes more and more evident with higher iso's and faster speeds so knowing what result one wishes to obtain in the finished photograph is important. Noise can add to certain images while it is nasty in others; there is no overall rule. The iso must be raised as speed increases because it compensates for the smaller amount of light that comes with faster speed.

I used a fast shutter here but really did not need to do that,
 there is no motion!

There is motion in the foreground but it
 is not near and is towards my line of sight.
A fast shutter speed was not needed and
I had to compensate for noise later in my
 'Lightroom' program.

Sometimes though, one can hold shutter speed and sensor sensitivity to a minimum if movement in front of the lens is away or towards it or if it is more distant. That way I capture a sharp photo of motion at a minimum shutter speed and can also control the amount of blur within the image - super fast is by no means always super desirable just as very slow is not. Like cooking, done just right is what is we should aim for. And that is a very personal decision.

A very fast speed is wasted here,
 there is little motion.

A slower shutter speed works just as well,
even better.

In my photographs of the stream I was purposely reminding myself how the instrument in my hand must be understood if I wish to get predictable results. The best way for me to work is to understand the theory and play with as wide range of photo - situations as possible. It is at the fringes of what is possible that exciting things happen and that is where I like to be. Getting there though also means wading through the regular and the known first.

Same subject, very fast and semi fast.
My preference is for the slower one
 -  it is more natural.

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