Day 6: Shutter Speed and Time Management

My 500 Words

Today for my 500 word post, I wanted to delve into shutter speed, something I have been ignoring in my photography research while I focus on the aperture. I am lost in a swirl of photography concepts…except it is 3 and it hasn’t been hard yet. Also, I am so very new and really want to understand this on an instinctual level, and that takes time. Shutter speed allows you to adjust the image based on both your intended outcome and the circumstances surrounding the image capture. A fast shutter speed allows you to capture a moving subject and freeze it in the image. To create movement in an image, you can slow down the shutter speed to capture the subject in its movement during a longer period of time.

This video was awesome for shutter speed, and I learned a lot!

As I learned in the video, aperture is like a guard, allowing only certain light into the sensor, and the shutter is like a door, allowing light for a certain amount of time. You can freeze a moving subject in an image or capture the movement of a subject in an image, both using shutter speed. Changing the shutter speed and playing around with shutter speed might bring about the a need for a tripod. Because your hands move and shake a little bit (especially when holding these heavy machines all day), a slower shutter speed might lead to a blurry photo, in an unintended way. To combat this, you need a shutter speed AT LEAST as fast as your focal length is long (if you are not using a tripod). This means that if a lens is 50 mm long, you need a shutter speed of at least 1/50. My lovely teacher of the day (video included!) recommends doubling the shutter speed. He says that if you have a 200 millimeter lens, you can use a shutter speed of 1/400. Doing this will definitely allow you to take the photo with your god given arms and hands, without the risk of shakiness.

My goal for this week, if not for tomorrow’s post, will be to take the camera out and about to practice in the wild! Tomorrow, my goal is to post some portrait attempts, without edits of course. This should be a fun challenge and inspire me to put into practice the concepts I am learning. I wonder who will be my portrait model 🤔.

My struggle this week has been keeping up with my reading and reading review goals. I have been blogging during my reading time, which is not ideal. I am serious about my reading goals as well as my writing goals. I want to have and do both, so my time management could be improved. I am doing okay, but my reading habits are not as regular as they could be. They are very sporadic and extreme, and I think this is part of the problem. If I could read for 1 hour before bed each night, I think I could manage all of my goals and still have plenty of time for other pursuits.

Day 5- First photos as a DSLR user 😅

My 500 Words, photography

I mentioned in my “Day 3 Post” that I was learning photography using the internet and whatever other tutorials I could get my hands on. Today, I had some free time to delve into it and had some fun! Aaaand, I am terrible, but the beginning is a good place to start.

I found some great YouTube videos again and was surprised at the level of detail some of the tutorials provided. I will post some of these in my next photography post. Most of the videos I found were so helpful and helped to make the topics I explored 2 days ago much easier to digest. I still kept my focus on the 3 basics: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

After watching a video or two, I felt confident enough to give it a try with the DSLR, taking pictures within the apartment. This was much harder than I expected or hoped! Immediately upon turning on the camera, I forgot everything I had just learned. F-stop appeared as a foreign concept taunting me and ISO? What’s ISO? My mind went blank. Then, I reminded myself that this is normal. Application and conceptual learning are often very different processes. They are friends and, with hope, chat every now and agin about the topic at hand, but they are not the same. They shouldn’t be treated as such. Coming to terms with this reality, at least in regards to my own learning patterns, will make learning photography much less tumultuous.

In the videos, I learned again to keep the ISO as low as possible and that AV was the automated setting for a focus on the f-stop. Along with some painful time on “M” mode, I practiced today mostly using AV and adjusting the aperture to get a better feel for it and for how to adjust the depth of field. It was a challenge, but a fun one! I felt excited when I finally focused on a coffee mug while leaving the background blurry. It took me about 20 attempts, but I did it, damn it! There will be a lot of practice in my future, in AV mode and beyond. As a positive note, it was helpful for me to isolate the concepts and focus on f-stop while the shutter speed and ISO levels were automatic. I felt overwhelmed at the poor quality of my photos using the manual setting and trying to figure out what was making a photo blurry, or too dark, or too light. Perhaps the AV and TV modes (using a Canon) might get me through the awkward initial phase of knowing absolutely nothing!

Learning how to properly use a DSLR camera is proving to be a worthy challenge. I am excited for the challenge and for the opportunity to grow in knowledge, skill, and confidence. I think that many of us, speaking for myself, have a tendency to dream of doing without planning to do, and especially without the doing part. There is no time like the present, and I already wish I would have sat down to learn sooner.

Which brings me to my preacher/teacher moment of the evening. FRIENDS- no one is going to come into your life and care or know more about your happiness than you do. You need to prioritize your goals, personal accomplishments, and dreams before anyone else can. You need to believe in yourself, even if you are convinced no one else does. I am writing this to myself more than anyone else, but if it resonates, awesome. One foot in front of the other. Go on now, go!