A Guide to Sharper Shots - Part 3

June 25, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

In the 3rd and final part of my A Guide to Sharper Shots Blog we will focus on how to freeze subject movement.

Whether it's children playing or motor racing there's one simple fix that will avoid the blur caused by subject movement and that's a faster shutter speed. A camera's shutter speed controls how much time the sensor is exposed to light, if it's not quick enough, anything moving will end up blurry. 

So, how do you choose the correct shutter speed? Firstly you need to determine how quickly the subject is moving, for instance a subject moving at walking pace will not need a shutter speed that is too fast to freeze their movement. 1/125sec is generally quick enough, whereas something like a racing car would need a shutter speed more rapid such as 1/500sec to 1/1000sec. This should capture most fast action shots with pin sharp detail.

Next you need to determine whether you have enough light as you will need lots of it to capture shots using fast shutter speeds, this may mean choosing the largest aperture your camera will allow to let more light in or increasing your ISO therefore increasing the light sensitivity of the camera's sensor. Both of these settings will be determined automatically by the camera if you are using the Shutter Priority mode (Tv on Canon) and ISO is set to auto. However if you are in Manual mode you will be in full control over these settings too.

 

FREEZE IT WITH SHUTTER SPEED

Shutter speed is measured in seconds and fractions of a second. How fast you need it to be depends on how fast the subject is moving across the frame.

So, 1/1000sec is a hundred times faster than 1/10sec and would do a much better job of freezing fast moving action. Unfortunately there isn't an easy formula to remember when your out shooting and you will need to rely on your own judgement and trial and error when selecting your shutter speed. It's always a good idea, once you have selected your shutter speed, to take a test shot and then zoom in really tight on the image to closely inspect the fine details if there is any blur evident then increase your shutter speed (the bigger the latter part of the fraction the faster the shutter speed).

Well, I hope you've found my 'A Guide to Sharper Shots' blog useful, feel free to comment and offer feedback.


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