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The Impact of Shutter Speed on Images [Case Study]

In this post Lyndzee Ellsworth (see their blog at epblog.net) shares some images from a shoot to show what impact shutter speed can have on images.

Do you ever get confused with all of the different functions on your digital camera? What about at night? Don’t worry you’re not alone. In this post I show you how experimenting with shutter speed impacted taking a shot of Downtown San Diego at night.

I’ve got four photographs of Downtown San Diego and have varied the shutter speed on each so that the shutter stays open a little less each time. I kept the ISO at 100 to keep the noise level at a minimum, which is crucial in night photography to allow the optimal amount of color and darkness at the same time. I kept the aperture at F/5 through all of the photos because at F/5 your lens is still wide open enough to get a good amount of natural light.

Starting with the first photo, I set the shutter speed for a 15 sec exposure (which on your camera should look like 15”). With the shutter open for 15 seconds, all of the light that the lens can capture in that 15 seconds is recorded and processed. By the photo below you can tell that 15 seconds was too much, so I changed it to 10, then 8 and then finally landed on 5 seconds to achieve what in my eye was the best shot.

San Diego-1 copy.jpg

San Diego-2 copy.jpg

San Diego-3 copy.jpg

San Diego-4 copy.jpg

These differences were achievable by only changing the shutter speed. Please look further on the DPS archives for more understanding of aperture, ISO and shutter speed to see how these elements work together.

See more of Lyndzee’s blogging at her blog – epblog.net.

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