Day 131 – Fast Shutter Speeds and Sparky

I am forever playing it safe, I use Aperture priority mode a lot, I adjust the exposure compensation to get the shot that I want but if you mention shutter speeds, I somehow quiver with terror and think I can’t do it – so I really need to practice this more… in my head I am always converting… faster shutter speed = wider aperture, so I tend to pick Av and go from there… but I really do need to discover and use this function on my camera and relate it to back button focusing.

So today I choose Shutter priority, auto ISO and trusted the camera … my model was Sparky and I wanted to freeze the action of him running on his walk…. I took lots of photos – nearly 100 trying to get it right (80 ended up straight in the recycle bin as were not in focus – I had a problem with focusing & tracking – but I discovered lots!).

Settings on camera were:

  • ISO – auto
  • Tv – Shutter speed 1/2000 sec and 1/4000 sec
  • High Speed Drive (so I could take a few shots at a time)
  • Al servo for tracking with back button tracking – took me a while to realise that to keep Sparky in focus I needed to keep my finger on the button 🙂
  • 18-250mm lens

First I tried to fill the frame with the farmer’s crop, the sunlight was really strong and produces a really vibrant background and in lightroom I had to lighten the shadows on Sparky’s face.

ISO2000. 1/2000 sec, F7.1

ISO2000. 1/2000 sec, F7.1

Trying to get Sparky to run in the direction I wanted was impossible, I also felt that 1/2000 sec was nit fast enough to freeze the movement so I choose to increase the shutter speed.

ISO2000. 1/4000 sec, F7.1

ISO2000. 1/4000 sec, F7.1

It became apparent that the stronger shots were when there was room in the frame for Sparky to run into, where I had the whole dog in the frame. It also became apparent that the more vibrant colours were in the grass when it was back lit, so to capture that vibrancy impacted on the timing I shot the image.

ISO1000 1/2000 sec, F6.3

ISO1000 1/2000 sec, F6.3

I think this is great, the fast shutter speed has given a great depth to the photo, I have got his eyes focused on something – just wish it was me … but I have taken it close to the end of his tail … I need to zoom out more.

ISO800. 1/2000 sec, F6.3

ISO800. 1/2000 sec, F6.3

Aiming for me, you can see how happy he is – but you can’t really tell how fast he is moving in this shot… I think I zoomed out too far.

ISO640. 1/2000 sec, F6.3

ISO640. 1/2000 sec, F6.3

This was an experiment with angles, I love the texture I added to the grass by getting lower but I never checked out the backgrounds and Sparky has a tree growing out of his head! The low angle though makes the dog look large, that he could stand his ground and be determined to reach his goal.

ISO800. 1/2000 sec, F6.3 - Change of angle

ISO800. 1/2000 sec, F6.3 – Change of angle

Then an angle change, Sparky is still moving around but this time I am looking down at him, and he looks much smaller in size and less dominating in the image.

ISO640. 1/2000 sec, F5  - Coming towards me.

ISO640. 1/2000 sec, F5 – Coming towards me.

I am going to practice some more with this… Sparky is a great model so you may see him again!

3 replies

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] We have had a busy time! Last weekend we had visitors (friends from our old stomping ground) with one of their children.  Helen is a long standing friend and one who has encouraged me on my photographic journey. We both went on the same evening course some years ago and her photos are fantastic. Helen blogs daily here. […]

Comments are closed.