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Creative Shutter Speed: Master the Art of Motion Capture

Book Description

Learn to unleash the power of every shutter speed

Shutter speed is an integral part of exposure. Learn to use it creatively, and you unlock the magic that transforms an ordinary subject into a work of art. From the blazing 1/8000 second that captures each feather in a hummingbird's wing to the lazy half-second that turns a fireworks display into a color-rich patchwork, shutter speed allows you to freeze time. Derek Doeffinger teaches you to harness the power that separates the amateur from the professional.

  • Unleash the power of shutter speed from 1/8000 second to 8 hours

  • Learn creative techniques to transform your photos

  • Discover how to achieve different effects with various aperture/shutter speed combinations

  • Determine the effect of weather and lighting conditions

  • Use filters, lenses, tripods, and other tools to manipulate shutter speed

  • Explore stop-action and creative blur techniques

  • See how to reinforce your creative vision using Photoshop®

  • View what you can achieve in stunning full-color examples

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. About the Author
  3. Credits
  4. Author's Acknowledgments
  5. 1. Tap the Power of Every Shutter Speed
    1. 1.1. 1/8000 Second—the shutter speed of NASA
    2. 1.2. 1/4000 Second—the shutter speed of NASCAR
    3. 1.3. 1/2000 Second—the optimal fast shutter speed
    4. 1.4. 1/1000 Second—a former record holder
    5. 1.5. 1/500 Second—a nostalgic favorite
    6. 1.6. 1/250 Second—the all-purpose shutter speed
    7. 1.7. 1/125 Second—for the scenic shooter
    8. 1.8. 1/60 Second—when the light dims it shines
    9. 1.9. 1/30 Second—the optimal slow shutter speed
    10. 1.10. 1/15 Second—where subjects blur themselves
    11. 1.11. 1/8 Second—the blessing of the blur
    12. 1.12. 1/4 Second—the poet laureate of motion pictures
    13. 1.13. 1/2 Second—where writing with light becomes reality
    14. 1.14. 1 Second—breaking the time barrier
    15. 1.15. 1 Minute—reenact exposures of the "ancients"
    16. 1.16. 8 Hours—put your camera on the "C" shift
    17. 1.17. Nano Time—the hidden world of ultra-speed electronic flash
  6. 2. Understanding Shutter Speed and Exposure
    1. 2.1. How the shutter works
      1. 2.1.1. The origin of shutter speed
    2. 2.2. About exposure
    3. 2.3. Camera controls for regulating exposure
    4. 2.4. From good to great exposure
    5. 2.5. Anatomy of a good exposure
    6. 2.6. Anatomy of a bad exposure
      1. 2.6.1. Do the math
    7. 2.7. ISO setting—your secret weapon
    8. 2.8. Determining the correct exposure
    9. 2.9. Matching metering modes to scenes
      1. 2.9.1. Center-weight
      2. 2.9.2. Averaging
      3. 2.9.3. Matrix
      4. 2.9.4. Spot
    10. 2.10. Evaluating pictures as you take them
      1. 2.10.1. Evaluating visual image quality on the LCD
    11. 2.11. Evaluating technical exposure with the histogram
    12. 2.12. Balancing shutter speed and depth of field
    13. 2.13. Equivalent exposure values
    14. 2.14. Finding a way to get the shutter speed you want
    15. 2.15. White balance
    16. 2.16. Exposure rules of thumb
    17. 2.17. Adjusting exposure for light type
    18. 2.18. Adjusting exposure for tricky lighting conditions
      1. 2.18.1. Front lighting
      2. 2.18.2. Sidelighting
      3. 2.18.3. Backlighting
      4. 2.18.4. Extra-bright subjects
      5. 2.18.5. Extra-dark subjects
  7. 3. How I Took These Pictures
    1. 3.1. County Fairs—Mania on the Midway
    2. 3.2. Curtains Lifted by a Summer Breeze
    3. 3.3. Swimmers—Half-Triathlon
    4. 3.4. Stunt Rider at the State Fair
    5. 3.5. Perfect Timing for the Perfect Pose
    6. 3.6. The Planned Picture
    7. 3.7. Boredom—The Great Creation Motivator
    8. 3.8. Luck, Not Skill
    9. 3.9. Everyday Life—in Peru
    10. 3.10. Balloons Away
    11. 3.11. Review Without Prejudice
  8. 4. Tools and Controls to Exploit Shutter Speed
    1. 4.1. The camera you need is a dSLR
    2. 4.2. But let a snapshot camera tag along
    3. 4.3. Controls that put you in the right mode
    4. 4.4. Exposure modes
    5. 4.5. ISO control
    6. 4.6. Exposure Compensation
    7. 4.7. Bracketing mode
    8. 4.8. Focus controls
      1. 4.8.1.
        1. 4.8.1.1. Single Servo focus mode
        2. 4.8.1.2. Continuous Servo focus mode
      2. 4.8.2. Manual focus mode
        1. 4.8.2.1. Trap focus mode
    9. 4.9. Rapid picture-taking
    10. 4.10. File format
    11. 4.11. Mirror lockup and exposure delay
    12. 4.12. Accessories for motion techniques
    13. 4.13. Lenses
    14. 4.14. Sport lenses
    15. 4.15. Image-stabilized lenses
    16. 4.16. Neutral density filters
    17. 4.17. Polarizing filters
    18. 4.18. Memory cards
    19. 4.19. Monopods and tripods
    20. 4.20. Shutter release devices
    21. 4.21. Electronic flash
    22. 4.22. Image-adjustment software
  9. 5. Stopping the Action
    1. 5.1. Everyday shutter speeds
    2. 5.2. Fast shutter speeds
    3. 5.3. Timing your shots
      1. 5.3.1.
        1. 5.3.1.1. Setting up for a fast action shot
    4. 5.4. Determining a stop-action shutter speed
      1. 5.4.1. Other variables important to stopping motion
      2. 5.4.2. Getting the fastest shutter speed possible
    5. 5.5. Action sequences—the art of static action
    6. 5.6. Taking pictures from moving vehicles
    7. 5.7. Shutter speeds for sharp pictures while handholding the camera
    8. 5.8. How to find your personal steadiness shutter speed
      1. 5.8.1.
        1. 5.8.1.1. Testing handheld, non-image-stabilized lenses
        2. 5.8.1.2. Testing stabilized lenses
        3. 5.8.1.3. View the images in Photoshop
    9. 5.9. Taking sharp pictures at questionable shutter speeds
      1. 5.9.1.
        1. 5.9.1.1. Handholding? Take lots of pictures. Fast.
        2. 5.9.1.2. Use the RAW file format and underexpose
        3. 5.9.1.3. Pull out the stabilized lens
        4. 5.9.1.4. Find a perch to support your camera
        5. 5.9.1.5. Direction of action
        6. 5.9.1.6. Wait for the action to pause
        7. 5.9.1.7. Wait for peak motion
  10. 6. Shake, Rattle, and Roll Your Camera
    1. 6.1. Pantastic panning
    2. 6.2. The background of blur
    3. 6.3. Rev up the blur for expressionistic panning
    4. 6.4. A gallery of panning
    5. 6.5. Zooming
    6. 6.6. Camera and subject are still—everything else moves
    7. 6.7. Camera held still—subject in motion
    8. 6.8. Running, jumping, spinning, and twisting with the camera
    9. 6.9. Shooting blur shots from the car
    10. 6.10. Camera tossers—only centerfielders need apply
    11. 6.11. Composition on the fly
    12. 6.12. Improving composition when the action picks up
    13. 6.13. Low angle versus high angle
    14. 6.14. Composition—positioning the subject in the frame
    15. 6.15. Composition—sizing the subject
    16. 6.16. Composition and subject direction
      1. 6.16.1.
        1. 6.16.1.1. Moving toward you
        2. 6.16.1.2. Crossing in front of you
        3. 6.16.1.3. Taking the diagonal route
  11. Glossary