Our Photography Courses Blog

Playing with shutter priority, on a photography course at Henley on Thames

watery shot from photography course at Henley on Thames

Angry water, shutter speed of 1/640th

It’s pretty easy to change how you make water look:

smooth water on photography course at Henley on Thames

Smooth water, shutter speed of 1/10th of a second

It’s easy to forget the massive range of shutter speeds that our cameras can do.  Most beginner’s cameras can do from 30 seconds to 1/4000th of a second.  Thing about how wide that range is.  These pictures look so different because one is sixty times longer than the other.

Want to make the effect even more dramatic?  Change the ISO – both these pictures were taken at 400 ISO, the speed we usually recommend for typical British conditions, but if the first shot had been taken at 1600 (four times the sensitivity) the shutter speed would have been four times quicker, and the water even more, er, dropletty. If the ISO had been put down to 100 ISO in the second shot, the shutter speed would have been four times slower, and the water look even more smooth.  The only thing to be careful about here is that you can push the camera to a it’s fastest shutter speed, where the camera might not be able to do a faster speed, and your ability to keep the camera still at the slow end.  But all cameras these days can work perfectly well at 800 and often 1600 ISO, so why not make your vision even more dramatic?

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