Category Archives: Experimenting

Fun with shutter speed – bridge edition

One thing about working downtown, right by the Legislature and the river valley, I have a lot of subject options 🙂 The other day day, part of my lunchtime photography stroll took me to the High Level Bridge.  I decided to play around with shutter speed using full manual mode; usually I play around with aperture in the aperture priority mode.  Although I was in the shade, it was a sunny day and I’d already set my ISO to 100.  I set a higher f-stop (small aperture size) to go along with my slower shutter speed to avoid blowing out my shot while capturing motion.

In my first try, I captured both car and pedestrian blur.
 photo 20130517-DSC02359.jpg
1/8 sec at f/32, ISO 100, Sony a55 w/50mm macro

I think this next one is pretty neat, with just a hint of the wheels left, almost ghost-like, with the U of A’s Biological Science’s building in the background.
 photo 20130517-DSC02362.jpg
1/10 sec at f/32, ISO 100, Sony a55 w/50mm macro

And one last full car blur.
 photo 20130517-DSC02364.jpg
1/10sec at f/32, ISO 100, Sony a55 w/50mm macro


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Pyro, by nature

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved fire. I love the warmth it gives on a cool night, but mostly I love watching the flames dance. It was inevitable, really. The pyro gene is strong on my dad’s side, and I definitely inherited that trait! So it shouldn’t be surprising that the last time I went camping, I was inspired to take out my camera and try to capture the life and beauty of the flames.

I’ve tried taking pictures of fire before, but they never quite satisfied. They were too light, too dark – I couldn’t quite capture what I wanted.

I tried again the other weekend, this time very deliberately. I took a few pictures, looked at the results and adjusted. I even had a tripod! …except I couldn’t use it properly. I’d brilliantly forgotten the bit that attaches to the camera that attaches the camera to the tripod. D’oh! I was still able to use the tripod as a support, just not completely.

I started off with a slower shutter speed, 1 second.
1.0 sect at f/14, ISO 200 – Sony a55 50 mm macro w/tripod*

The slow shutter speed blurred things a tad too much for my taste, so I sped it up. But, to compensate for the slower shutter speed, I had to decrease the f-stop (increase the aperture size) and bump up the ISO.
1/40 sec at f/4.0, ISO 800 – Sony a55 50 mm macro w/tripod*

1/40 sec at f/4.0, ISO 800 – Sony a55 50 mm macro w/tripod*

Focusing on a different part of the fire, I slowed the shutter speed down again. This time, I was quite pleased with the results!
1/13 sec at f/9.0, ISO 800 – Sony a55 50 mm macro w/tripod*

One last picture, faster shutter speed. I think this one is my favourite 🙂
1/60 sec at f/6.3, ISO 800 – Sony a55 50 mm macro w/tripod *

*camera wasn’t attached to tripod, I forgot the thingy (see post text)


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