Hi and welcome again to another My Photo video tutorial. I am using an SLR camera. Most of what we are talking about is for digital SLR’s, but it will also apply to film SLR’s as well.
Today, we are going to look at the subject of Tv. Now, not the tele, not the extenders and all of the other programs, this is all about shutter speed priority. Now, yes I know shutter does not being with T, but just take my word for it, that is what it means. And it does on some cameras. Show the more logical S. So, sometimes you will see MASP which is manual mode, aperture priority mode, shutter priority mode and program mode.
But on more traditional ones like this which is a Cannon 40D by the one. This one has M Av Tv and P for program. So we are setting it to Tv and this is going to allow us to select the shutter speed and the camera would choose the most appropriate aperture to go with that.
Now, you can see on a lot of videos about aperture quality modes, so I want to explain that here, but do have a look out other videos and you will see what that is all about. So setting the shutter speed your self, why would you want to do that? Well, there are various reasons and we are going to look at those. Today, I am going to show you a few examples of photos to show you what it is all about.
So, the first thing that I would show you is the ability of a camera to freeze the action, even something is moving really quite fast and they do not get much faster than the red arrows. Now, here you can see on screen a picture of the red arrows and it is a nice shot picture even though those plains were actually traveling at over 500 kilometers per hour. And so, the way in which that was done was by setting a very fast shutter speed. In this particular case, it was 1/2000th of a second. You can not always get it as fast as that, but this was a good sunny day and so it was not a problem. So 1/2000th of a second and even though those plains are moving quite quickly, it is still possible to really quite freeze them in the air when you take just 1/2000th of a second snapshot of what is going on. And so if we look at another picture, we can see how that works with water.
Here, I have got a jetskier and he was doing all kinds of stuff, diving through the waves and things and I just thought that the splashes and things of the wait were really adding to this whole dynamic filed that we were getting there. And so I wanted to again freeze the movement. I did not want the water to be all blurred and moving I wanted it to be nice and sharp and still and so again use a high shutter speed. In this particular case, I used 1/500th of a second. That is still quite fast and it was enough to freeze the action that we were seeing there and get that real dynamic feel to it.
You could freeze the action while still giving a feeling of movement and I am going to show a couple of things you could do there. Here, you can see a picture of the former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek. And in this one, he is about to take a free kick. I wanted to just pretty much freeze it, but I also wanted just a little bit of movement especially in his leg as he is coming to kick the ball just to show that this is an active shot. It is not posed or anything like that. And so, although I have used fairly flash out to speed, I did not want it to completely freeze that action. And I went down to 250th of a second for this shot. And you can see that the leg is a little bit blurred and I think just the end to the hands there, a little bit blurred as well, but that is great because it is showing movement in the picture, but still giving us plenty of clarity to see exactly who the photo is.
Okay, we showed the water being frozen in the Jet Ski shot, but there are times when you might want to show the water really moving. It is common with waterfall shots to do this and if you look at this picture that I have taken in Cambia that is the Lake District which is the northwest of England. In this shot, I wanted to get a lovely feel of that water just moving down over the rocks. But I wanted to get the rock themselves and the colorful is there, nice and sharp to get that lovely contrast of textures. So, what you do in a slow shot like that, it is vital that you have the camera on a tripod. We can not hold the camera still enough for long enough when you are doing this kind of shot. So you must use a tripod and in this case, I used one quarter of a second or .25 of a second if you like and exposure which you will be surprise actually how far that water moves in a quart of second. And so by allowing the shutter to be open for that length of time, the water gets that blurry soft look to it, but of course the rocks and things which are not moving, they stay nice and sharp and it gives us that contrast. So we have gone down to a quarter of a second for that particular photo.
And now, we can go even further than that. Let us look at these light streets. Light streets are another very popular type of photo and they are showing a car moving at night. Now, you might ask “where is the car? I can see the light streets, but I can not see the car.” And the reason for that is that the car itself is moving in a dark area and it is not in a one place for long enough for the camera to register it, but the lights which are nice and bright, they will register and because the car is moving, you will get these streets of light. And in this picture, you can see white and red and the white of course is a car coming towards us with the headlight and the red is a car moving away from us and we got the taillights, the backlights of that car as it was going the other way. And so we have got these two sets of street of light leading away of into the distance. And that particular photo was a five second photo, so obviously a tripod is absolutely essential.
And even longer than that is this next photo which you can see of a wheel in a fairground. This was taken up at a Christmas fair and it had with lots of different colored lights on it, all flashing away. And I tried lots of different exposures and sometimes you need to do this. You have to just experiment to see what came out best. And not this particular one which was a 10 seconds exposure gave us that sort of swirling effects. Now you can see that the light is there and so you get this whole wheel with it swirling. But also because the shutter was open for long enough, you can see all the light reflections and cobblestones in front of it and gives us a whole picture instead of just that wheel we are seeing what is happening around as well. And I really like the feel that this one has gone. And that one as I said was a 10 second exposure.
And finally let us look at one photo which is entirely different. This is a bird. This is a big heron that was flying over in Florida. I was on holiday and I went down to Lake Taho and we went on airboat and I saw this bird takeoff and I have got other photos of it as well. But this one, I can swoop in along just above the water, the everglades there. And I wanted to capture it nice and sharp, but I also wanted to get a sense of the movement. And so what I have done here is I have used a panning technique. I have kept it on shutter speed priority, so I have taken a fast shutter speed so that I can freeze the bird. But I do not actually want to freeze the background as well and so what I have done is I have panned and taken the shot while I am moving. Now, the way do this is you must as you looking sort of the view finder, keep the subject in the same place in the view finder as you are moving. So, you have got to moving at the same speed as your subject. And so, you take it like this, you are coming along and then click and keep moving right the way through the shot like that. It does take a little bit of practice, but when you get it, it will give you some fantastic shots and what happens is it frozen the bird, but because my camera was moving, the background was of course stationary has now got some motion blur. This is not the same as out of focus. This is not just looking soft and blurry. This is actually showing that there is a movement and so this bird now is doing what we know birds do. It is flying and swooping along and it gives the whole picture a sense of dynamism and action again.
So, that is what shutter speed is all about, sometimes flash out of speed, sometimes a much slower shutter speed. But get creative, try it out and you can do all kinds of different things with it. I hope that has helped with the shutter speed priority setting on your camera and I look forward to speaking to you again on My Photo Tutor. My name is Rob Barron. Thanks for watching.