Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Shutter speed controls motion. Class dismissed.

Dear B&W 1 students:
   This week's lecture in class was on how shutter speed controls motion.
   It seems like a fairly simple concept, until I actually begin to explain it. When I wrote on the whiteboard how you can control motion three different ways, many of your facial expressions gave me that "I'm so confused!" look.
   The same expression was evident last week when I taught you how to control depth of field three different ways: aperture, proximity to the subject and lens length choice.
   And that same expression was there the week before that, when I showed you how to use a gray card to expose for a scene.
   Relax! That 'look' is perfectly normal for the first half of this class (and sometimes for years to come), which mostly consists of beginner and amateur photography students like you who know very little about using a camera on manual mode.
   Because I think the best way to teach is to show and do, we all marched down to the SHAC gym, where I gave my body up for science. Not really. After helping you set their camera controls properly, I looked like a dork and ran back and forth so you can learn how to pan a subject. It was exciting to hear 15 cameras clicking as I ran past you. I also did jumping jacks for the slow motion concept.
    To recap today's lesson:
  • Panning - set your camera on a slow shutter speed, around 1/15th of a second, follow the subject and snap the photo as the subject passes you by. Results = the moving subject will be in focus but the background will be motion blurred.
  • Slow motion - set your camera to a slow shutter speed and shoot a moving subject without following the subject. The subject will be motion blurred but the background will be in focus.
  • Stopped action - set your camera to  a fast shutter speed, from 1/500th of a second or faster, set your f/stop accordingly. and shoot away. The subject will be in focus, and the background will a shallow depth of field since you'll most likely be shooting at a wide f/stop.
   Remember that you always have to pay attention to your inside camera meter, which measures the light reflected off your gray card.
   Since this is a film class, you will have to wait until lab on Thursday to see if you nailed the two concepts of panning and slow motion. I, too, am anxious to see your results. But from what I've seen so far, you can relax. I'm sure it'll be fine!

No comments: