Exploring Shutter Speeds

I recently discovered the most amazing website for new digital camera users called Digital Photography School. Since buying my new Canon PowerShot A650 IS digital camera over 6 months ago I have been hesitant with it and not sure of how to go about learning all of its capabilities. I've read other sites that talk about different setting and things like shutter speed and exposure but they were way over my head. This site comes at from a newbie perspective and gives you exactly what you need to know without overwhelming you with terms that will just confuse you. Then if you want to read further they give additional lessons on important topics.

One of the first things I read was 4 Reasons Not to Write off Shooting in Automatic which is the only thing I've ever read that reassured me that it was ok to use the auto setting on my camera. So many sites make you feel like an idiot if you just use auto mode but this article actually encourages new digital users to keep it on auto for the first 3-6 months while you get a feel for your camera and learn about framing and develop your eye.

This weekend I took my camera to my husband's bar band show, the Bloolights, at a great venue near our house called M.T. Rockers. It is kind of a dive bar but the lighting is good, the stage is large and has interesting backgrounds, and there is plenty of room to move around and get different angles. I think the other patrons started thinking I was the crazy girl with the camera but I'm all right with that. I explored shutter speed since the guys were in motion a lot of the time and some different settings. If you want to see more from the night they are in the Bloolights set on flickr. The top shot was done in good old auto mode with flash on and is a perfectly fine shot that we could use on their website. It shows Mike on guitar and his brother on drums pretty clearly.

This shot was done in black and white mode with a higher shutter speed which gives it a crisper image that I like. The higher the shutter speed the more it freezes the image is what I learned in this article called Moving towards Manual Settings: Understanding Shutter Speed.

This final image was done with a much lower shutter speed in a vibrant color mode that I like. The lower the shutter speed the longer the image is exposed so it has more time to pick up movement. It gives it a blurred effect which can be cool. Mike says it looks like he lost his arm but I think it's interesting since it shows the movement.

This weekend I plan on exploring Aperture and depth of field as discussed in this lesson. I'm hoping to learn how to do those artsy shots that are always on the front page of etsy with the interesting blurred focus. I'll share anything I learn next week.


Anonymous said...

Always good to learn more about what we use most often! Haha. I have a similar camera, but have never really tried anything fancy either. I used to have a manual SLR back in the day and knew some of that technical stuff, but I'm afraid it's quite different and scary on a Digital for some reason. Sigh.

storybeader said...

thanks for the links! I actually like the B&W image... it looks like a band from the 1950s! I do have a liking for B&W, being an archivist and all...

Leah said...

I love that website, my long to-do list includes actually trying a bunch of things I've read there!

Dorothy said...

Today cameras are amazing making life so much easier to produce great shots..

thanks for the info..

Dorothy from grammology

A Beaded Affair said...

Got my fancy, dancy digital this Christmas and it's so intimidating. I think my pics are getting better but I still need help. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out and see what I can learn. Great blog. I'll be back to visit again.

GrayEyedScorpio said...

Yay! You're getting comfortable with your camera, and having fun exploring what it can do.

I signed up for a summer photography course. Should be interesting, and helpful for me.

Anonymous said...

I always feel really bad about not using my camera on manual all of the time too! I like this site - thanks for the heads up!

kim* said...

my boyfriend is in a band too called pilot whale. myspace.com/pilotwhalemusic :)


(c) Lenox Knits, 2009|Created by NSD