Archives for posts with tag: slow shutter speed


Fall is the perfect time to take gorgeous senior portraits. Nature provides a stunning backdrop and natural lighting is more subdued due to the lowered angle of the sun. Another advantage is the abundance of props, such as leaves to add personality to the shot.



I set my F stop low for a nice blurry backdrop of color and set my white balance on cloudy when I initially took the shots. However, in post production, I changed the white balance to shade to add a little more gold to the pictures.



This senior not only wanted outdoor shots, but some of her in volleyball uniform as well. These were a bit tougher because they were taken in a dark gym. With the help of a tripod and remote shutter release, we were able to shine a flashlight on her during a long exposure to get good coverage of light.

I really love the way these shots turned out. The subject was very photogenic and had the most beautiful complexion. I did no post production work on her skin at all.

I have begun pinning ideas for winter portraits, because the leaves are all off the trees now and snow is in the forecast for next week. I plan on shooting those in a completely different group of settings. Can’t wait. 😊



Why is it that every time you see an HDR photo, it’s always a landscape? For a Christmas exhibit I participated in this month, I decided to try HDR photography on close-up stills.


It worked great! I simply set up the stills, mounted my camera on a tripod, screwed on my Promaster close-up filter set and plugged in my remote shutter release.


I set my Canon on auto exposure bracketing (AEB) in order to get the three shots I needed for HDR processing. Since I had the ISO set at 100 for maximum quality and the camera set on AV at 5.6, the shutter speed was pretty slow.


I used a light box for most of the shots with filtered light illuminating the entire box. For the shot above, though, I laid the lights on a reflective surface and had no other light. The shutter was very slow for this one. Turned out good though.


The three shots were then processed in my trusty Photomatix program and cropped in Photoshop Elements 12.

HDR photography does make great landscapes, but that’s only the surface. My next project, HDR portraits.

You know the photography mantra, if you use a long shutter speed, you should mount your camera on a tripod so that the picture is not blurred.

Well, what if you want the image blurred? What if you want to create a spinning or falling effect. Simple, use a long shutter speed and move your camera.


In order to produce this swirl, I set my camera to manual (M) setting. I decided that I needed to leave the shutter open for 1 second in order to give me time to spin my camera. Because the slow shutter speed let in so much light, I turned the ISO to 100 and relied on the internal light meter to tell me what F-stop I would need. I ended up using F18 (it really doesn’t matter since, technically, none of the shot is in focus).


Then I began taking photos by pushing on the shutter release and immediately spinning the camera to the left or right.


As you can see, the focal point of the shot ends up being the center of the spin. I tried to play up on that by putting the focal point in the very center of the shot and spinning around it. For the sake of rule of thirds composition, I then cropped the image slightly on the top and right in Photoshop.


I was especially proud of this one.


Next, I moved my camera up to produce a falling flower effect.

I plan to try some more movement shots with objects other than flowers. I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Canon Rebel, tripod mounted, AV setting, ISO 100, F5.6

Canon Rebel, tripod mounted, AV setting, ISO 100, F5.6

This is another one of my “window shots”. I taped a leaf that I found to a piece of white paper and taped the paper to my south-facing window illuminated by the sun. I like the way the veins of the leaf show up in the shot.

Keep experimenting 🙂

Canon Rebel, tripod mounted, micro filter attachment, F4.5, AV, ISO 100

Canon Rebel, tripod mounted, micro filter attachment, F4.5, AV, ISO 100

This close-up was taken using a homemade light table (a piece of frosted glass over a light bulb). I laid the pine sprig on the table and mounted my camera on a tripod and attached the remote release to allow for plenty of shutter speed. I had all three of my micro filters on the end of my lens.

Canon Rebel, mounted on tri-pod, 100 ISO, AV setting, F4.5

Canon Rebel, mounted on tri-pod, 100 ISO, AV setting, F4.5

I have recently gotten interested in food photography. Using my range hood as a light source, I placed the fruit on a cutting board and mounted my camera on a tri-pod because I knew the shutter speed would be slow on AV setting. I had to manually focus because my auto focus wasn’t focusing where I wanted it to. More examples in coming posts.

Keep trying new things 🙂

Recently, I hauled my cacti outside to give them a monthly thorough watering. I already had my mini studio setup to take some stills of toys. When I retrieved my cacti from outside, I noticed that water droplets had collected on every spine of one of the cacti.

I loved the contradiction of water accumulated on a plant that thrives in the desert.

I took the small pot in to the studio. Quickly pushed aside the toys I had been working with and started to shoot the cactus before the droplets dissipated.

I was very pleased with the results. My studio consists of a cardboard tri-fold covered in black velvet and placed under a variety of lighting sources. My Canon Rebel was mounted on a table tripod and set on AV at 100 ISO, F4. The shutter speed was slow due to the low ISO, but with the tripod and wired released, the pictures came out sharp.

The spines almost look like fireworks or glass chandeliers.

Have fun with your camera 🙂

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