Our adult photography class played around tonight with extended shutter speeds.  There are some really wonderful effects that you can do with your camera if you DARE to put it on manual mode.  Before you attempt it, you need to understand that there are only three ways that a photographer can control the light hitting the film (or digital sensor): SHUTTER, APERTURE, and ISO.  
Each of these affects the photo differently.  Shutter affects how motion is captured.  Aperture affects the depth of field.  And ISO affects your graininess or "noise" of the photo.  

Tonight we just focused on the effects of MOTION in photography so shutter speed was the critical setting we needed.  We used our light meters to set the ISO and aperture to play nicely with our available light.  

The first thing we played with were light trails inside a dark classroom.
This image here was captured by setting the camera on a 30 second shutter in a completely dark room.  Then we waived a single flashlight (on a cell phone) around in the air to spell the words.  You can do this with any light source in a dark room.  It took us a few tries to get the settings on the f-stop and the ISO just right.  The final settings were 30 second shutter, f/29, and ISO 200.  

You can spell or draw anything in the air and the camera will capture it.  This is a great activity to do with the kids (after you've figured out the settings).  It works really well with sparklers on the fourth of July!
Our class took the extended shutters outside and captured the light trails from the moving traffic on Mill St.  

Settings for these photos were slightly different than inside because there was much more ambient light.  We increased the shutter speed slightly and raised the ISO (20", f/22, ISO 400)

Keep in mind with these long shutters, you need to set the camera down some place stable.  No chance of holding it still!
Our last skill we practiced was panning.  This is done to capture moving objects with clarity, but leaves the background streaky so as to convey the movement happening.  Panning is a great technique to practice for sports photography.  

The shutter is set between 1/15 and 1/60 of a second and then the photographer moves the camera, tracking the movement of the object.  While tracking the object, and without stopping the movement, the photograph takes the picture.  The slower shutter blurs the background, but the movement of the camera keeps the object in focus. 
There are many amazing things that your DSLR camera can do if you have some basic photography knowledge and the willingness to play around with the settings!  Our Shooting in Manual Mode class is wrapping up next week, but we will be offering it again soon.   Also, on our radar for summer is a parent-child photography workshop!


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