Shutter Speeds From A Static Position

This exercise is looking at the effect of shutter speeds when the camera is kept in a static position.

I aimed to fill the frame with the vehicles in the images but this was quite difficult. It would probably have been easier to be further back or use wider angle lens, however, the results still demonstrate the effect.

The following images were taken starting at 1 second exposures and halving exposure times until the camera limit was reached (1/2000th of a second):

1 Second

1/2 Second

1/4 Second

1/8 Second

1/15 Second

1/30 Second

1/60 Second

1/125 Second

1/250 Second

1/500 Second

1/1000 Second

1/2000 Second

Studying the images, it can be seen that the moving vehicles start to become sharp at the 1/500th exposure.

Within the images, there were two moving subjects, the cars and the people, which were moving at different speeds. I would estimate that the cars were moving around 15-20mph and the people were strolling probably around 2-3mph. The people start to become sharp in the 1/30th second exposure.

It’s worth noting that for this exercise, shutter priority was used and the camera was left using auto focus which has actually let these images down in 2 ways:

  1. To anticipate the vehicles being in the correct position for the image to be taken, I was half depressing the camera shutter button in order to be ready which was engaging the camera’s auto focus. At that point, there was no vehicle in the image so the camera has assumed I wanted to focus on the building behind the road.
  2. In order to achieve the correct exposure, the camera was reducing the aperture as the shutter speed was increasing. Once the widest aperture was reached, I manually boosted the ISO settings to allow the camera to continue using a consistent exposure. However, for this scene, a really wide aperture doesn’t seem appropriate. Due to the focusing issue above, it’s not possible to determine when the best aperture would have been achieved.

If I was to repeat this exercise, I would pre-focus the camera to be focused on the road and disengage the camera’s auto focus system (switch to manual focusing) and select a pre-determined aperture. From the previous aperture exercises, I would start by trying an aperture of f5.6 to ensure focus is spread across the vehicle but drops away when reaching the building. In order to do this, I would need to be adjusting the ISO as the shutter speeds increased, in order to maintain a consistent aperture.


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