"You don't have to be Einstein to understand how to drive a car.
All you need is someone teach you."

You don't need a Nikon D90 or a Cannon EOS 50D to take great pictures.
You need a camera, a teacher, and training.

Let's start working.


by Amigo | 00:12 in , , |

Imagine this-
You are 32 years old, you have 2 kids. The younger son is outside with his friends playing football. It's a nice sunny day so you decide you're going to join the boy. Oh no I don't mean play with him, all you want to do is go outside and make sure you have some pictures of the occasion.
After putting on your favorite T-shirt, you walk outside and sit down on the bench (don't worry we're just about to get to the point). You take the camera out of it's case, and wait for the perfect moment.
And their it is! He has the ball! His just about to kick the ball!! Wow that looks great! Click. You took the picture. Now it's time to have a look at it.

If someone was watching you at that moment, they'd think your mother in law just had a heart attack.
The picture is completely smeared, and not only that, it's way too bright!

Ok. That was a quick introduction to what's called shutter. As you can learn from the intoduction, the shutter can effects both the amount of light and the way object's appear smeared or not.

Before going into example of each one of the cases, let's first have a look at some technical info about the shutter.

"A shutter is a device that allows light to pass for a determined period of time, for the purpose of exposing photographic film or a light-sensitive electronic sensor to light to capture a permanent image of a scene." That's from Wikipedia.

If we try to translate that into easier language we could say that, the shutter is basically what controls the amount of time our camera's sensor, is exposed to the light coming threw the lens. Again, the light coming from the outside goes threw our cameras lens, then threw the hole (aperture) we set, and eventually it reaches the shutter. The shutter can be either opened or closed. Theirs no in between point. You can see an example of what a shutter looks like on the left.

How does the shutter thing work?
It's simple. We tell the camera how much time we want the shutter to be open for, and the camera does exactly what we tell it to do. I wish everything was that simple in life. We can tell the camera to open the shutter for a very long time or for an extremely short time.
What should you tell it to do then? Why should you care about how long the shutter is open for? All you want to do is take a good looking picture.
And that's exactly my point. You want a good looking picture.

As we've learned, the shutter controls both the amount of light, and if our objects are smeared all over the place or not. It does this by the speed the shutter opens and closes. It can open and close really quickly, or open and the close after a longer period of time.

The light:
The slower the shutter speed is, the more light reaches the sensor.
The faster the shutter speed is, the less light reaches the sensor.

So if it's still 14:00 and your son is still out their with his friends, the light coming from the sun is probably quite strong. So you will want to use a fast shutter speed, because the light outside is so strong that even by opening the shutter for 1/500 of a second, enough light will reach the sensor.
On the other hand, if the time is 18:30, and the sun is just about to set, the light isn't as strong. In this case you will need to have the shutter open for longer (1/60 for example) if you want the picture to be nice and bright.
But if the object you're photographing is moving (like your son kicking the ball), he will probably come out smeared using a slow shutter speed. We'll soon understand why that is.

Let's take a look at an example of to different shutter speeds:

Shutter speed (Motion, and Smear):
The shutter can open and close either quickly or slowly.

The faster the shutter opens and closes, the less motion and smear will appear. (Freeze effect)
The slower the shutter opens and closes, the more motion and smear will appear. (Motion effect)

Now this is where it becomes fun. We'll use a race car as an example.
What will happen if you take a photo using a slow shutter speed (using a tripod)? The car which is moving fast, will come out kind of smeared, and it will add an effect of motion. Why? Because the camera's sensor will be exposed for a longer time, and as the car moves along, the sensor captures the movement. The background around the car, will come out nice and sharp because it stayed still.
So what will happen if we use a really short shutter speed? The sensor will be exposed for a really short time, so the car's movement will be captured to a frizzed looking photo.
The fun part is when you start adjusting the shutter to different speed's and see the exciting results.

Exposure (in short):
The shutter speed effect how bright or dark our picture will be. We know the same thing is true for the size of the aperture.
So if we want to take a picture of the car moving without the motion effect, we will have to use a really quick shutter speed, and that will cause less light to reach the sensor, and then we could have a really dark photo. To fix that you'll have to use a very low F-number (wide aperture) in order for more light to enter the picture. If that is not enough, you can play with the ISO.
In short, the exposure and the shutter work together when effecting the exposure. (More about exposure here)


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