This Week in Digital Photography Class…

We are working on slow shutter speeds.  So, how’s it going? you might ask. Arg, I would probably say.  I took this photo:

ISO 250 f/4 2sec 28mm

Well, ok, you say, I can see that you have a 2 second shutter speed that’s pretty slow. You’re right, it is.  I think I got the kind of shot my professor is looking for, but we were supposed to be using our camera’s night portrait setting to get this sort of effect.  Here’s the thing with the photos I took in that setting, the camera is trying really hard to take a “nice” picture.  I am going for something a little different.  So, while it is trying to shoot “nice” it turns up only slightly blurry not really blurry like the photo above.  The problem with a little blurry is that the viewer has to decide if you did that on purpose or if you are just not very good.

So, for this, I shot in Aperture priority mode, with white balance set to shade, because I did want that sort of orange glow.

Your thoughts on slow shutter speed? what settings do you use?  Feel free to put a link back to your own examples to share in the comments section. Other word of wisdom? I’m listening.




7 thoughts on “This Week in Digital Photography Class…

Add yours

  1. I think that’s the ‘How long is a Piece of string’ question 😉 Without knowing just what your Professor wants you to achieve or understand, it’s difficult to know what advice to give. I guess he’s trying to get you to understand what the night portrait setting does and is probably aiming the course at all levels of camera and camera user.

    Rather than try to give a suggested setting for everything… I can say from experience that the Noise Reduction on the 50D should be acceptably good up to an ISO of 1600 – at least that is true of the 40D. So if you want to use a less shake-prone shutter speed then try a higher ISO than the 250 you selected (unless you’re using a tripod and the subject isn’t going to move).

    As for the setting I use. Here is my After Dark set on Flickr – . You can check the exif settings of any shot that you like (except for those that were scanned in from slides). They are all hand held but I usually find something to lean against. Hope this helps 🙂


      1. Click on the actions button above the image and select exif info from the drop down. I can tell you that shot was ISO400, 1/8th sec, f4 and a focal length of 23mm which on the 40D equates to around 37mm. hope this helps 🙂


  2. I’m not a photography expert so keep that in mind. I quite like the shot, it’s enigmatic. I appreciate when an artist allows the viewer to interpret the image for themselves. This one has the added element of mood, questions…. was someone sneaking out the window? Is there a romantic encounter occurring beyond the camera’s viewfinder? What, why…?


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