Learning about Shutter Speed: Water

When I first started trying to understand shutter speed and its effects, I remember seeing some pretty cool photos of a waterfall taken at various shutter speeds. The slower speeds showed the waterfall in a blur, and the fastest speeds showed the individual droplets of water. (You can see a good example of this here.)

I’ve been meaning to practice this myself by finding some moving water and playing around with shutter speed, but haven’t really had the chance. However, earlier this week the amazing Rich Chapman reminded me that if I made my way to Daley Plaza during St. Patrick’s Day week, I’d have a pretty amazing opportunity to practice with some festive green water.

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I hope Rich doesn’t mind that I stole his idea for my first attempt at photographing moving water, even if it doesn’t even come close to his photo.

At some point I’d like to post photos of the same scene at all the various speeds, but in order to get this posted in time for St. Patrick’s Day, I just wanted to share one of the photos that came from my mini photo shoot yesterday.

I learned something else from this little experiment…

In the very little I know about speed and aperture, I knew that I needed to make the little hole open wider to make up for how quickly it was opening and shutting, in order to let in enough light. So, I had the aperture set as big (or small? This is the one where the numbers are backwards, right?) as it would go to accommodate for the fast shutter speed. However, the photo still turned out a little darker than I would like.

So, I guess this is the perfect example of a time when Photoshop or other post-processing is necessary.


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