Experimenting with shutter speed to capture night-time light trails on a pedestrian bridge over the A316, on a cold and rainy December evening. Using a tripod and starting with a high shutter speed, capturing moving cars at 40 mph in freeze frame and progressing to a lower/slower shutter speed to capture beautiful light trails.
Experimenting with shutter speed by the roadside of the A316 in Richmond. Taking photographs at the same level as the traffic was much easier than the angle on the pedestrian bridge, where I had to keep checking and adjusting the camera settings. This angle provided some interesting panning and light trail images, especially due to the festive lights on the opposite side of the road.
Experimenting with shutter speed and ISO to capture night-time light trails with the traffic on the A205 near Roehampton. I stayed at road level, mostly staying with a high shutter speed and getting excited each time a bus approached. The buses filled the shot nicely with bold colours and translucent light.
Experimenting with shutter speed at Barnes Station photographing moving trains. For the first four photographs, shutter speed was relatively low and ISO was fairly high as it was an overcast November afternoon. For the last two photographs, the trains were moving, although it’s hard to gauge that with the higher shutter speed/freeze frame.
Experimenting with the full range of shutter speed on Priory Lane, SW15. Photographing cyclists passing over a SLOW marking on the road. Challenges with this assignment included changeable natural light or low light and variable speeds of cyclists. These factors bring-up the importance of setting-up the exposure trinity for the desired aesthetic and style – balancing shutter speed, aperture and ISO. The main to-do with this assignment related to the typical challenge of street photography when subjects see the camera – self consciousness and elimination of candid photography.
The effect that shutter speed has on a picture, to either freeze action or blur motion, works well with sports photography. The following images use high shutter speeds and 115mm-200mm zoom lens, so the subject (me) is frozen in action. The images are sharp – capturing quick moving action, with an appearance of physical effort.
Unit 2 research
Award winning photography
I really like the below image taken by award winning Getty photographer Richard Heathcote, of triathletes exiting the Serpentine at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series in Hyde Park on August 7, 2011. The photograph shows the mindset of champions and the drama of competition. The photographer freezes the motion of the triathletes along with the push and pull of the water – emphasizing the considerable effort of transitioning from water to land. The photograph is made even more dramatic by the photographers angle, the moody sky and the flash of the camera capturing Vladimir Turbaevskiy’s unbalanced water exit.
Among other awards, Richard Heathcote was a winner at the 2020 World Sports Photography Awards. He has over 20 years experience in the industry, of which the last sixteen years have been with Getty Images.
By experimenting with light trails, motion blur and freeze frame for this task I have learnt how to use shutter speed, and also using aperture and ISO alongside shutter speed.
The night-time light trail photographs taken on a pedestrian bridge were the most challenging – getting enough light on the lens was the most difficult part of this task.
The night-time blur motion/light trail photographs taken at road level on the A205 was good fun and experimenting with different settings and angles produced some interesting photographs. Next time round, I will try out more angles and more interesting locations.
The afternoon moving trains and cyclist photographs captured nice motion blur when using a low shutter speed. While I enjoyed photographing the trains, I preferred photographing cyclists. For me, the ideal settings to capture cyclists is in the range of 1/1000 sec – 1/250 sec and f4 – a high shutter speed and mid-range depth of field.
The next time I try this exercise, I will experiment a lot more with the exposure triangle for better aesthetic and style, and see what results I get – it takes a lot of practice with the camera to find the sweet spot that best presents the subject in the given conditions.