Photography Foundations: Using Shutter Speed To Capture Motion | Suzanne Strong | Skillshare

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Photography Foundations: Using Shutter Speed To Capture Motion

teacher avatar Suzanne Strong, Photographer & Filmmaker

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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

6 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. 1 SS Intro

    • 2. Exposure Equivalent

    • 3. 3 SS Basics

    • 4. 4_Fast SS Video

    • 5. 5 Slow SS

    • 6. 6 Project final

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About This Class

Have you ever wanted to stop your kids from running around for just one second?*  Want to capture the blurry excitement of a fast moving car? Have you always wanted to shoot start trails or "write" with sparklers?  You can learn all how to do all of this with your photography when you learn how to use shutter speed!

Using Shutter Speed To Capture Motion is the second course in my Photography Foundations Series. This class will focus on using your shutter speed in manual mode on your DSLR or mirrorless camera. Understanding how to use shutter speed is key to make creative choices on how motion is seen in your images. 

We'll talk about the effects of both slow and fast shutter speed on motion, how to utilize shutter speed in night images as well as some fun bonus ideas for using alternative light sources at night.

The Photography Foundations Series is created to get you out of auto mode and into manual mode on your camera so that you can take control of your images and to create the images that you want to make.  Each class is short and sweet at less than 35 minutes. You can even learn on your lunch hour!

*BTW this class won't actually teach you how to stop your kids from running around IRL, but it CAN teach you how to freeze their moves in a photo ;)

This class is for beginners who are learning how to use their camera in manual mode and for anyone else who is looking for a refresher in the basics of manual camera use.

REQUIRED: DSLR camera or other  camera with manual mode capabilities.

Meet Your Teacher

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Suzanne Strong

Photographer & Filmmaker


​Hi! I'm Suzanne and I teach photography classes. I'm a Portrait Photographer and the Creative Director at Noun Project Photos. I live in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles. I shoot creative portraits, lifestyle and commercial and I work with fashion bloggers, entrepreneurs, musicians and anyone else who wants authentic images. 

I'm super excited to offer content online. Online courses provide me with a super easy platform for you to learn.  The ability to make my content available to more people for little to no cost is allowing me to share my knowledge with as many people as possible.  

I'm excited to be a part of the Skillshare community! Let's get it!

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1. 1 SS Intro: Hi, I'm Suzanne Strong, and I'm a photographer in Los Angeles. Welcome to the second class in my photography foundation, Siri's. The series is designed to get you into manual mode so you can control the outcome of your images in this class. We're going to talk about shutter speed on shutter speed refers to the length of time that your shutters open the shutter speed. You can control the motion of your images so we can stop motion. Weaken blue emotion and there's a lot of other cool things you can do, making choices with your shutter speed. So in order to make choices with your shutter speed, you're gonna need to have a camera that you can put into manual mode, so that would be a DSLR or Marylise camera. So in this class we're going Teoh produce 3 to 6 images that will post in the discussion in making different choices on shutter speed. And then we'll look at how these different shelters food choices affect the outcome. Emotion in your image. This class is for beginners, and this class is also for anyone else who wants our refresher in manual mode, specifically for shutter speed and That's all I got. I'm so excited that you're here. I can't wait to see what you're gonna create. And I just really appreciate you being here in my classes. I'm super. 2. Exposure Equivalent : you guys. So in this video, we're gonna talk about how you can get out of the shooting three method and auto and move into manual so that you can create the images that you want to make. Today, we're gonna talk about equivalent exposure on what that is and what you're gonna choose with the functions of equipment exposure to make image that you want to make. So it probably exposed. Image consists of three functions. The shutter speed, the aperture and eso Aperture is the size of the opening of the lens. The shutter speed is how quickly the shutter opens and closes, and the eso is how a sensitive your camera is to the light that's going on to your image, sensor or film. So there endless combos to using these three functions in order to properly expose a photo . It sort of, if you want to think about it in math, there's a nameless number of combos that you can add or subtract to come to the value of 10 . So it's sort of the same with us. Exposure triangle is that you can choose aperture shutter speed and I so in various combinations to probably explosion photo. They all have different effects on outcomes. Your image. So we'll go through those real quickly in this video and then in subsequent classes of men ago, worthies each down into what we understand which each of these functions does, which is aperture shutter speed. And so we're gonna make certain choices that we can properly exposer image and create an outcome that we want to create. Each of these functions has a different effect on the actual image will go over those real briefly now and then, we're gonna talk about how you can play with that for now, until you take the classes more in debt to really understand what each of these functions does. So first we're gonna talk about amateur aperture is the size of the opening of the lens, and with this, a larger opening lets in more light on a smaller opening. Let's unless light. These have functions on the depth of field and outcomes in the duck, the field of your image. So a large a large amount of light coming and is going to create a more shallow depth of field so you can choose what you want. Having focus on a shallow depth of field. Less light actually makes everything more in focus and Chris. So, for example, if you were shooting a landscape or group of people, you might want everything in focus and you're not gonna want as much shall adopt the field in those Texas situations with aperture. It's measured in F stops, and it stops range depending on the lens, a range from maybe after 2.8, maybe 5.6 upto F 22. That's about it depends on the lines, but that's about them. The range of stops. There's one super confusing thing about stocks, and that is a smaller numbers of say, for example, that of 2.8, which you would use to create child up the field and after pointing is actually a large aperture. It's a little confusing a promise you're gonna get used to. It will become second nature. The more you practice of 22 for example, is a smaller aperture. That's what creates a really sharp focus, so because that's a little confusing. But them where you practice this, it's gonna just become second nature. You're not gonna think about it. You know how to make these choices without thinking right away. Shutter speed is the length of time the shutter is open. So a fashion utter speed. Let's unless light on a slow shutter speed lets in more light. So the Texas has on the image is that a fast shutter speed will stop motion. So, for example, if you're shooting a sports game ah, waterfall, your kids and they're running around. You want that image? The action to stop and freeze. You're gonna choose a quick shutter speed, a fashion editor speed If, for example, you shouldn't nothing waterfall. And you want the water? How? That's creamy, soft, blurry. Look, you're going to shoes a slower shutter speed. With the slower shutter speed, you might need to use the tripods who reduced camera shake. And that's when you push the shutter and your blends open. For a while, the camera might move a little bit. We'll go into that more in the class on shutter speed. The third function that we're gonna talk about eso and I eso is the amount of light that your camera is being sensitive to. So on your image sensor on your film, so in I s O a low I So around 100 is great for sunny days when there's a lot of natural light you don't It just lets unless light. That's a great option. A low I S O creates a very sharp image and sharp meaning not granny, not pixelated. You can go. A lot of cameras go upto eso 3200 without a hitch. But when you go up to those higher numbers, I s 0 326,400 It can create grain and your image so it's not gonna be as clean image will be grainy, pixelated, noisy, those types of things. So there's some good reasons to use a higher eso regardless of the grain. So if you read it concert, for example, you can't use a flash, but you need to get as much light into commas possible. Hi, Esos are great twice for that The green you have to sacrifice the green, which is you know what you have to do sometimes and that's OK because sometimes you can fix it in post times you can't, but the bottom line is with any of these three functions is that you are going to have some pros and cons they're each gonna have affect on the image. And when you're choosing to make this image, you're gonna have to choose between the three combos of each of these things. Create a combo that's going to properly exposure image and get the outcome that you what you want. A blurry background for your portrait. You want a sports shot and the athlete is stopped in motion. So you're gonna these different choices to properly expose and to have the outcome. You know, if your images properly exposed, there's a light meter in your camera. On the light meter is gonna tell you if your image is properly exposed, overexposed or under exposed. You can usually see your light meter and your camera. When you look through the eyepiece and it's a little bar, there's gonna be a center line. There's gonna be a plus sign. There's going negative sign. So when you are changing the different functions in your camera and your allowing less or more light to come in, the meter's gonna tell you if your image is properly exposed, which is it'll be right in the middle. There's going to line that's gonna go right in the middle of lineup with that center line. If it's over, exposed is going to be more to the plus side under exposes more to the negative side. This will tell you for image is properly exposed or not, and you can play with all of the different functions that we've talked about. Exposure Triangle to see how they're going. Teoh. You can create a lot of different combos to create that properly exposed image. I'm going to encourage you all to. If you don't know how to go into manual mode on camera, you don't know how to find the light meter. It's not showing. Please go look into your cameras manual because each camera is different, their menus for different where the buttons are different, how you change things. That's all different image cameras. So it'll be really good for you to be able to go through your camera manual if you don't know how to do these things already and really play around and see where all these buttons are, how to change all that business so that you can really get to know your own camera? The more comfortable you are with your camera and these different functions, the more comfortable you gonna be taking pictures. The more you know about taking his pictures, you're going to be able to give yourself that foundation to get really creative with your images. It's wonderful. So once you've figured out where all these things are in your camera, I just encourage you to go out and have fun. Shoot everything, just playing around, see what the different functions due to your images. Share your images in the classes, Tell us what you did. One really cool thing about digital cameras is that you can actually access the metadata, and the meta data tells you how each picture was shot. So we'll tell you the f stop. It will tell you the shutter speed. It will tell you that I s O so you can go back and look at each image and see what functions you chose and how you chose to get that image. And you can see the results immediately. Back in the day, when I first learned on film, I used to take note. So it say exposure number one and I write down each of those things Now you could just look into your camera. It's awesome. So the most important thing about all this is to have fun, shoot a fun, try different things out. There were really comfort with your camera, and all of these things were to go in depth in these classes that you can really learn each of these functions very well, very proficient, and be able to create the images that you want to create. Thank you so much. I'm excited to be on this journey with you. And I look forward to seeing what you 3. 3 SS Basics: wave gone over the basics of exposure Triangle. We're gonna dive deeper into shutter speed and how it affects motion and movement on your images. Shutter speed is the second main component and giving you creative control on your images. So please go ahead and grab your camera and it's Emmanuel. In case you need to pause this video any times you can reference it. This will also help you learn where shutter speed is and how to use it on your own camera. Please go ahead and grab a note, but as well. So what is shutter speed and how does it affect motion in your images? Shutter speed is the amount of time that your shutter is open and we measure it in time. So we're generally kind of measure it in fractions of a second. But we can also measure it in minutes, or sometimes even hours. So fast shutter speed real briefly, a fashion utter speed is going to stop motion and freeze action in your photos. It also lets in less light because the shutter is open for a shorter amount of time. A slow shutter speed, on the other hand, is going to create blur in the motion of your images. It's also open for a longer period of time, so lets in more light. So I want you guys to listen to what a fast shutter speeds. Sounds like it's pretty quick, and I'm gonna let you hear what a slow shutter speed sounds like. On the other hand, it's a lot slower. So we're gonna take a second Teoh, see where you can control the shutter speed on your camera. So I'm my camera. This is a Nikon, and I control my shutter speed using this dial on the back of the camera, some cameras that might be this front tile. So you don't have to just figure out where that is on your own camera. And again, you can refer to the manual of your own camera to see where that is located. And if you're using a film camera, for example, in analog film camera, the shutter speed is ready to talk the top of the body. So one thing to keep in mind is, as we are playing with the shutter speed on this camera on our cameras in this class, we're gonna have Teoh adjust either the aperture and or the eso so that we can maintain proper exposure of images. So if you remember how to do that, go ahead and play with those settings. If you're forgetting how to do that, you can go back to the Exposure Triangle video because that has a brief overview of how to properly expose a picture. So now we're going to dive into fast shutter speed in the next video on the subsequent video, we're gonna dive further into slow shutter speed thes each deserve their own videos because there's some really cool things you can do with both of these functions. And I want to give you guys a really good understanding of of how each of these both backed your images and the motion in your images. 4. 4_Fast SS Video: you guys in this video, we're gonna go more did up of using a fashion utter speed and how that stops in motion in your images. So a fast shutter speed is used to stop motion, as we've been talking about. So some examples could be if you're at the beach, anyone to capture the stop motion of a wave crashing against Iraq, for example, maybe one capture the droplets of water. As that wave crashes against the rock, you want to use a fast shutter speed. Some other examples might be if you want to stop the motion of a waterfall, or maybe your child's running across the lawn and you want to capture that moment. Maybe you're watching a sports game, and you want to capture athlete catching the football. Those are all examples of when you'd want to use a fast shutter speed. So in order to stop motion, were generally going to be using shutter speeds that are 1 200 of a second or faster. So that's pretty quick, because we want to be able to capture that one moment in time. Have a couple of tips for you on using fast shutter speed and one is to set your camera and continuous burst mode. If you don't know how to do that, you can again for a back to your cameras manual. So continuous burst mode Sounds like this. See how it takes a bunch of pictures when you just push the shutter speed once, as opposed to a single burst mood which iss a single frame, which is this So a really good tip is to put your camera into continuous personal because you're gonna be taking a bunch of pictures within that we're taking a bunch of pictures and we're trying to capture a fraction of a second. So that one sure that you stopped the action. You capture that action using that continuous burst mode. Another tip that I have for you is to set up your frame. So what you want to see in the frame, you want to set that up ahead of time, So when your subject moves into the frame, you're gonna be sure to capture them in the frame unit in the composition that you want to capture them in my third term for you is to set your camera on automatic focus because you're suffers could be moving really quickly, and it's really hard to make sure that your subject it's and focus if we're captured them in a fraction of a second, and they're moving quickly across the frame. So if you're a beginner, even someone who knows this, uh, how to use focus and is very advanced or intermediate, it's a really great tip to just throw your camera into the automatic focus mode for using this fast shutter speed. Another way that you can use fast shutter speed that has nothing to do with motion is if you're out, for example, taking photos and it's a sunny day and you need to let less light into camera to properly expose the photo. You can adjust the shutter speed so a fast shutter speed is going to let in less light and again, you could refer back to the exposure triangle video. Teoh understand how to use the functions in order to expose your image. But again, bash shutter speed can be used to let in less light on your camera. Another thing that I love that I always talk about is meta data and meta data is captured by your camera when you take a picture and the metadata has all of the functions that you chose, all the options you chose in order to properly exposure photo. And what that does for us is we can go back and refer Teoh the shutter speed, the aperture that I S O and a bunch of other things. So when you're trying to learn when you're learning how to use your camera manual mode, referring back to the meta data is a huge tool. It's so helpful. So for this class, you can if you want to go back and look at your meta data, you can find it in your camera. You can find it in editing software such as light room, and then go back and see what choices you made with your shutter speed and how that affected the motion in the outcome of your image. Meta data is my favorite thing. When you're learning uneven, use it now sometimes dio. So now we're gonna move on into what slow shutter speed 5. 5 Slow SS : I think in this video we're gonna talk about using a slow shutter speed and the fact that has or emotion in your images we can use a slow shutter speed to show motion or to blur movement in an image. So, for example, if you wanted to show that dreamy, creamy effect of shooting moving water, like in a river or waterfall or waves, we can use a slow shutter speed to create that of BET. A slow shutter speed in general is considered to be less than 1/60 of a second. Another way we can use a slow shutter speed is to shoot at night. So if you wanted to shoot the trail lights of a car moving on a highway or cars on the highway, you can use a slow shutter speed. You can use it to shoot stars and even star trails 1/3 way that we can use. The slow shutter speed is an effect called panning. And what that is is we use our camera. When the subject moves into the frame, we take our camera on your panel on with the moving subject. What that does is it will stop this subject looking like it's movie in the image Anil. Create a blurry background, which shows a lot of motion and excitement in your image tests for you guys. So when you're shooting with a slow shutter speed, you're pretty much always going to need a tripod or put your camera on a study surface. The reason we need a tripod is when you have the shutter open for a long time. You're at risk for something called camera shake and camera shake is when you push the button and you move the camera on accident with your body on. What that will do is we'll create unintentional blur. We don't necessarily want the blur of the camera moving down, so using a tripod or putting your camera on a study surface will reduce the effects of camera shake. Another tip I have for you guys is using your eyes. So So as we talked about exposure trying Gold Video I s O with a high I s o. You got more light in, but you also add more grain. So if you're shooting at night and you have your eyes up, I you're gonna let him or light, which are also going home or green. And so with a dark picture that green is really gonna show. So the good news is that we're gonna be using a tripod for shooting at night so we can increase the shutter speed, letting in more light decrease. The isso, which will allow less grain, will really get those dark images super crisp. Way you that went Teoh, Take this a little further. There's some fun things you can do with slow shutter speed at night. One thing is called light writing and light writing is where you give your subject an alternative. Light sources such as a flashlight or sparklers or a laser. And what you're gonna do is have your shutter open to use a slow shutter speed and ask your subject to write with this alternate light source. So maybe they could write their name. They could create a heart. They could do butterfly wings. They can do whatever they want. It's a really fun way to make a creative portrait. Another thing that I really love doing is if you have a flash either on or off camera, you can both show the motion so create that blurred effect and stop it at the same time. So, for example, in this photo, I used a slow shutter speed to get that the light trails from the cars on the highway and the flash to stop the motion of my job. So I had to use a tripod, of course, and I had to put the camera on the self timer mode because this is a self portrait. So those are just two of the other things that you can do. If you want to explore slow shutter speed at night on, there's a whole lot of other things you can do. I just want to give you some tips on some other creative ideas if you want to take this a little bit. 6. 6 Project final: wear onto the class project. So for this class project, we will be posting 3 to 6 images that we shot using a variety of shutter speeds. If you can please post the metadata and the settings that you used in each your photos, so that we can all look at what choices you made during this process. If you want to shoot the same subject using a variety of of shutter speed, that's totally awesome. That will help you see how the shutter speed will affect the outcome of motion in your photos in the same circumstances. So some things you could do for that might be that you shoot a kid who's running or tough mean you could shoot a dog that's running. You could shoot a person growing a person just being you could move into an athlete. Maybe catching a football are kicking a soccer ball around or water that's in motion, such as waterfalls or waves or even a dripping faucet. So I would really also love to see some of you utilize and experiment with the panning technique when you're using slow shutter speed on a moving object is it's such a cool effect and I know some of you are in tonight photography or would like to learn it. So I'm really excited to see what you do with that. Don't forget, you have to use a tripod when you're shooting at night. So my idea is for that could be that you set up your tripod in your camera next to a highway or a busy street, and then you could use a slow shutter speed to capture those light trails from the cars. You could aim the same set up towards the night sky and get some stars or schism star trails, or if any of you want to try the alternative light source. I did that. I talked about the slow shutter speed class that would be cool to see. And also, if you have a flash, anyone experiment with slowing motion and stopping at the same time. That would be super cool if anybody want to jump into that. So when you post your photos, don't forget to tell us what your favorite part waas and what you learned and why I loved it or why you didn't live it and what you would like to learn next and Also, if you have any questions throughout this process, please feel free to drop the comments or questions in the discussion board on the class or message me and I'll be happy to answer them and we go alone and finally thank you so much for taking my class. I'm so excited that you're here, and I'm so excited that really mean how to use your camera in manual mode so that you can be in control of your images, so thank you again.