Fundamentals of ISO and Shutter Speed: Create Images That Freeze or Blur Action | Alan Winslow | Skillshare

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Fundamentals of ISO and Shutter Speed: Create Images That Freeze or Blur Action

teacher avatar Alan Winslow, Photographer/Co-Founder of Restless Collective

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Project Overview

    • 3. ISO Fundamentals

    • 4. Shutter Speed Fundamentals

    • 5. Freezing Action

    • 6. Blurring Action

    • 7. Panning

    • 8. Conclusion

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About This Class

ISO and Shutter Speed are two of the fundamental components that allow you to control the exposure in your photography. In This class, we’ll study the mechanics of ISO and Shutter Speed to understand how they work in relation to each other and how you can use these tools to get the results you want. We’ll dig into the creative possibilities and the technical aspects of using ISO and Shutter Speed to ensure you have a complete understanding.  If you have a camera or phone with manual controls then this class is for you! No prior photography experience is needed. We’re going to take the camera off automatic mode and start to learn the building blocks of producing a proper exposure.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Alan Winslow

Photographer/Co-Founder of Restless Collective


Alan Winslow is a photographer and educator based out of Brooklyn, New York. His work is regularly featured on the Leica Blog, and has appeared internationally in ELLE China, Adventure Cycling Magazine, Pro Photographer New Zealand, and PDU Edu. He has lectured at numerous Universities and taught at the Maine Media Workshops and College. Alan has spent the past six years alternating between freelance work and long-term project with Restless Collective, which have taken him halfway around the world by bicycle, and all the way around the United States twice (once by bicycle, once by camper).

Alan is a co-founder of Restless Collective. You can see some of their work at:

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1. Welcome: Hey, my name is Alan Wins. Oh, and I'm a photographer and educator based in Brooklyn, New York. This is the first of three classes preparing you to photograph completely in manual. I'm really excited to be here because I think in order to have full creative control of your camera, you have to take it off the automatic features and work primarily in manual functions. This class in particular, we're going to focus on my S O and shutter speed, working towards creating six unique portrait's using creative shutter speed. I'm really excited to see what you guys were going to produce, so let's get started. 2. Project Overview: for this class will be producing six unique portrait's using creative shutter speed. Typically, when we think of a portrait, we think of a subject being tax sharp and frozen in time. Like this example here, this is a great starting point, and sometimes it's the creative solution to making a dynamic portrait. However, there are times the ad motion or movement to an image like this. Shutter speed can change the overall mood of an image and help tell the story. In this class will discuss the technical and creative components of shutter speed and I S O working towards creating your own unique portrait's. Here are a couple more examples of portrait's heavily influenced by shutter speed in Esso selection. I hope these examples give you some inspiration and you're ready to learn, create and share. I'm really excited about the work that you are about to produce, so let's get started 3. ISO Fundamentals: fundamentals of I s O eso is the first of three components that make up a proper exposure. And this lesson will cover exactly what I also is and how to use it. This may sound funny, but I also is set by the International Organization for Standardization. That's IOS. But a long time ago, they decided to call themselves I s. They give specifications for various products using photography, engineering and a host of other industries. Now I have someone. Photography indicates to us how sensitive our sensors toe light the lower your eye assoc The less sensitive the sensors toe light, the higher the I s o the more sensitive the sensors delight. Most of our cameras will have a dedicated I S O button in order to change the setting. If not, check the menus on the camera screen to locate the I S O function. I s O is measured in stops. A stop is a basic unit that measures the amount of light hitting the sensor. Changing one stop will halve or double the amount of light hitting the sensor. Remember, this term stops because it works the same in shutter speed and the other components that make up a proper exposure are full stop movements in I S O R. 5100 204 100 816 132 100. Now, when we're thinking of I s O in terms of stops, remember that on I s O of 100 let's in half the amount of light as an ice of 200 twice the amount of light as I asked 50 depending on your camera, the range may go higher or lower. Some cameras will also have s options between these full stop movements, these air third or half stop shifts. All the manufacturers doing is giving you more options to fine tune your exposure when to increase your I S O. If you're photographing in a low light situation and you need more light hitting your sensor, one option is increasing your I s O. If, for some reason you need to maintain a certain shutter speed or aperture setting but need mawr less light, you can also make a nicer shift. Remember, decreasing your eyes So setting makes the sensor less sensitive light and increasing. It makes it more sensitive to light in this photo. I used both scenarios because there wasn't much light in the morning. I needed to increase my i S o So make a high rise of setting help me achieve a proper exposure. I also needed a quick shutter speed because of subject was on moving water. In order to achieve this, I had increased the I so more. Now remember, if you're not on automatic, I s o setting and you have it really high. And you, when you go into a bright situation, you're going to have to decrease your i s o back down. So it's a general rule. If you're out photographing in the middle of the day with the bright, sunny sky, then I would recommend bringing your and so down to 201 100 or even lower, there's a side effect of increasing your eyes so too high. And that's digital noise. The higher the I S O setting, the more noise is introduced into your image. Every camera is a little different, so I would encourage everyone to photograph an object at every I s o to see how your camera responds. Early digital cameras had a hard time making a clean image at 100 eso. But today our cameras go over 10,000 I s O and produce usable images. It really depends on what you're going to use the image for and the output. If the image is only gonna be shown on a small screen, you can get away with using a much higher I s o than, say, if you decide to print it. Now there's two different types of noise. First is color noise and that's depicted in the image in the lower left. The sensor can't represent the proper colors, so it produces a green, red or blue pixel. The other type of noise is luminous noise. And that's where only the brightness the pixels affected on the images to the right. The flowers you can see as an increased the I s O more noise is introduced to the image. First the noise happens in the shadows and eventually the highlights are affected. As a general rule, I try to keep my eye. Eso is low is possible, making the cleanest possible image some photographers intentionally increase the I. So to include noise is an aesthetic choice. They would compare this to grain and film. I disagree with this practice because noises that digital pattern while green was a randomized pattern. Most postproduction software can add green later to your image. If you like that, look, our recommend doing it there. 4. Shutter Speed Fundamentals: Welcome back in this video, we're going to discuss the fundamentals of shutter speed and how they play a crucial role in developing the manual exposure. First, we're gonna talk about the technical side, and then we'll move on to the more creative components that shutter speed. So simply put, what is shutter speed? Shutter speed is the amount of time light is allowed to travel through our camera and hit our sensor. Shutter speed is measured in time, typically will be using fractions of seconds. But shutter speeds can also be whole seconds, minutes or even hours. Most modern cameras can handle shutter speeds of 1 4/1000 of a second and a slowest 30 seconds without switching to a special future. When you press down the shutter button, a curtain opens, allowing light to hit the sensor. The longer the shutter speed, the longer the curtain will remain open. Because real estate is limited on her camera screens, most minor cameras will display the shutter speed in fractions of seconds rather than regular numbers. When we moved to slower shutter speeds in the full second region, a quotation mark or an S will appear. Most modern cameras have a wheel located next to the shutter button that allow us to change the shutter speed. And when you look through the viewfinder, the number all the way to the left is the current shutter speed setting. Here's a bonus tip. If you're finding that you're images air never really tax sharp. Check your shutter speed. It is not advised to handle the camera where the shutter speed slower than 1/60 of a second slower than 1/60 of a second. You're starting to introduce camera shake. The camera is picking up the movement of your body, resulting in an out of focus image. If you need to use a slower shutter speed than this, it's best to stabilize the camera with a tripod or placing on something solid. Now that we know the technical components of shutter speed, we can explore the creative side of it. Shutter speeds help represent movement in an image, a fast shutter speed of a freeze action, while slow shutter speed will blur it in the next few videos will break down both freezing and blurring of motion. 5. Freezing Action: freezing action. Sometimes you want a freezer subject, whether it's a drop of water athlete running down the field or a kid jumping in the air to achieve attack. Sharp image. We need to work in fast shutter speeds for this exercise. We're going to be working and shutter speeds faster than 1 2/100 of a second in this image . I waited for the subject to come into the frame, taking it the split second that he jumped over the pylon. I've listed some good starting points, depending on the subject matter. Remember, you may need to speed things up, depending on how fast the subject is actually moving, but these settings will get you in the ballpark. People are animals walking 1 2/100 of a second, runners and bikers slow moving cars. I'd start off at 1 5/100 of a second, fast moving cars, animals running 1/1000 of a second animal spending and birds in flight. Those air one to thousands of a second. And then we're gonna go into our super fast shutter speeds for sprint cars, rockets or, if you really want to catch a water droplet in the air. 1 4/1000 of a second. Some of your cameras won't go up to 1 4000 of a second, and just keep that in mind when you're picking your subject matter. The color of the water is really important in this image. In order to emphasize it, I wanted to suspend the droplets in mid air. So as a subject ran into the sulfur pool, I used a fast shutter speed waiting for him to kick up water. Here are some things to remember when working in a quick shutter speed First, this will take a lot of practice. Training yourself to move quickly in these situations can be difficult, but really rewarding when you get the shot. Sometimes it's easier to move your body and camera in the same direction as a subject in order to give yourself more time to make a nice composition, remember to move at the same pace as the object, keeping it in the viewfinder and keeping a nice composition. If you know where the action is going to take place, frame the shot first, making sure you have good composition and then wait until the subject comes into frame before shooting. If your camera has continuous burst mode. I'd advise you to turn that feature on this allows you to take multiple photos while you hold the shutter button down. It's a good way to break into fast shutter speed, allowing you more time and more frames to get a good shot for this image. I wanted to freeze the interaction between the dog and his owner playing fetch. I moved to position the man between the sun and myself and waited for him to have an outstretched arm. A quick shutter speed allowed me to freeze his throw and the dog preparing to chase the stick. Have fun, and with a little practice, you'll be producing beautiful tack, sharp action images. Finally, this image of two cycles climbing this mountain. I wanted to emphasize the rugged mountain and the adventure. I put them in the bottom corner and waited for them to pass through the frame, giving a nice bound between the rugged mountains and the two adventurers. Now it takes some time to practice your own unique fast shutter speed portrait's and post them to our class board. Thanks 6. Blurring Action: blurring action for this exercise. We're going to slow down her shutter speed to blur action or movement, as photographers were trying to represent life in a single frame. In doing so, we can show as much or as little motion as we'd like. The amount of motion blur re allowing a particular scene changes the viewer's perception of what's happening. Take a look at these images the image and the left, the car's air, just streaks of light, making them appear that they're going extremely fast. The car on the right is well defined for just a slight amount of motion blur. In both cases, I used to slow shutter speed, emphasize the movement and create motion bringing the average is alive. The image on the left. The cars were moving at 20 MPH, but I love to shutter open for 30 seconds, allowing for a lot of motion. Blur the image on the right. The car is moving around 80 MPH, but the shutter is open for 1/40 of a second, allowing for only a slight amount of motion blur. As photographers, we choose how to represent the reality of the scene here have elicits of slow shutter speed starting points. Remember, they're just starting points. The actual amount of blur represented in the image will depend on how fast the object is actually moving in. How long you leave the shutter open, for if the object is too fast, it will not be represented the frame at all for the image on the right. I wanted to capture both the movement of the fire and the people building it. I slowed down my shutter to a couple seconds along both pieces to blur. Here's some tips or blurring images. First, stabilize your camera by putting the camera on a tripod. You only introduce the movement of the object and not your body shaking. Decrease your I S O. You get a much cleaner image and longer shutter speeds if you decrease your eyes so to a low setting like 200 or 400 for this image, I wanted to silhouette the man on his boat in front of a massive display of fireworks. By using a slow shutter speed, I was able to capture more than one burst of fireworks, use alternative light sources and remind your subject to either sit perfectly still or move quickly for this image. I wanted to make a fund portrait of my friend. I slowed down the shutter speed to four seconds and walked around him with a flashlight. The bright flashlight was captured, but I was moving so quickly that the camera didn't pick me up. It was crucial that the subject held his breath and sat very still to remain sharp. Some suggestions for different life sources include cell phones, glow sticks, flashlights, strobe lights. These are all great places to start, experiment and have fun with them. Slow shutter speeds can make interesting and creative surprises. Here I slid my shutter speed down to six seconds while it remained open. I had the subject move across the frame. Every step. He paused for a second. The resulting images him represented five times in a single frame. 7. Panning: another slow shutter technique is called panning. It's only so down a shutter speed to 1/40 of a second or slower and move with the subjects as it moves across the frame. This causes lines of movement going from left to right or right to left, and it really emphasizes the movement of the subject. So let's do a couple examples you could see is the subject moves across the frame. I moved my camera keeping pace rate when they crossed the center point. I take the photo and continue to move the camera as they leave the scene. This will cause the lines of movement in the background. Here's the final image from today's shoot. I think panning is a great way to show movement inside of a still image. Just remember that as the subject is moving, you have to keep pace with them and continue that camera movement throughout the entire frame. I leave you with a photo of two dancers here. Again, I use the panning technique to show the movement of the dance and make the photo a little more elegant and beautiful. I'm really excited to see how you use panting and your creative portrait's 8. Conclusion: I read everybody. We've reached the end of our class. We discussed I s O and shutter speed from a creative standpoint and a technical standpoint . Now it's your turn to take these tools out in the field to create six unique portrait's. I'm really excited to see what you guys are making. So when you finished editing, toning and shooting, please upload your final photos to the project board. If you have any questions at all, you can reach me on the message board. I'll answer you immediately. I'm gonna leave you with the example of my unique portrait. This is Katie. I'm a huge fan of sending your photos to print after they're all done being toned. I think it's a great thank you to give to a subject. And if you want to show it off in a portfolio, print portfolio is always the best way to go. In my opinion again, I'm really excited to see what you guys are making. So please upload those photos and ask me any questions. You have have a great day and keep shooting