2:12 ISO and Shutter Speed

Hello everyone and welcome to Week Two of the 12 week photo course, which focuses on ISO and Shutter Speed.  Hopefully you have joined in this week. If not, it's not too late. You can find the assignment for  Week Two HERE. Also, if you want to catch up, the pdf for Week One is here and you can still link up for the assignment over at Twenty-Six To Life. <---- click there to get to the week one link up!  Click HERE to go to her site for this week's link up!

This week the question was: When should I use a faster shutter speed?

I often shoot in Shutter Priority (the little S) Mode, since it allows me to manipulate the light by changing the shutter speed and ISO. However, I always need extra tips and it was nice to go through step by step instead of just playing around with it when I am trying to take important photos! 

Our assignment was to put an object (I used a glass) in the sink under running water and try changing your shutter speed (and consequently your ISO) in order to see what happens. Here is what I ended up with. Excuse the quality, or lack of it.

For the first photo, I used a slow shutter, which gives the water a silky effect. However, the light was hard to control. If I upped the ISO, it was too bright, but as you can see, this one is not really light enough.

The second. Better light, not so silky water. You can start to see the bubbles, which means the higher shutter speed is stopping the motion a little.

Here we have a faster shutter speed, which means you have to put the ISO up even more or else you don't get enough light in that little bit of time. Notice the bubbles are more pronounced.

In this last one, you can see the individual water drops. However, the shutter speed is so fast, barely any light is getting in, so I had to bump the ISO WAY up, which causes the photo to be grainy.

After we were done playing in the sink, the assignment was to use your manual setting and your light meter to find a good light balance, becuase as you can see from the (bad) photos above, the light is the most important element. 

Below, once again, is Papa P. He will probably be a regular feature. He holds nice and still. (click over to Kate's site and see who HER regular feature is!)

After doing the assignment, I experimented indoors and out to find a good balance of light. 

Inside: Slow shutter, high ISO

Outside: Fast shutter / low ISO

So, what I have decided is that I need more practice, especially with moving objects, as the shutter speed will change a lot when the movement changes a lot.

Have you experimented with different shutter speeds? 
Have you used the manual setting on your camera?

Join us next week for Week Three: The Color of Light


  1. I need tons more practice too. It's easy to take photos of things when they're still, but it's another thing altogether when they move around!! That's really interesting that you tend to shoot in shutter mode. I've gotten in the habit of shooting in aperture mode, but I've also been pretty lazy and shooting wide open too ;)

    I love your penguin! Please make him a regular feature of your series! I would love to see him pop up each week somewhere. That would be so fun, haha :)

  2. This is a good look at shutter speeds. A good test for fast shutter speeds is sports shots. That really tests you all the way around.

    I shoot manual all the time, only because I like to have control over my camera in all aspects!


  3. I need a nice camera before I can do any of that. But once I get one, I'll have to review all these posts!

  4. Great post! I still need to get around to posting my week 2 pictures. If I am outdoors taking motion photos, I stay in shutter mode. But if I am indoors taking motion photos, I stick to aperture mode and more or less leave it wide open.

    I need to work on learning more about ISO. I did a series of indoor photos so it was a high ISO and some came out with more noise than I would have liked.

    As Kate said, more penguin shots!!
    - Patty (Life With a Lab Named Sophie)


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!