Exercise 3.1


“Using fast shutter speeds, try to isolate a frozen moment of time in a moving subject. Depending on the available light you may have to select a high ISO to avoid visible blur in the photograph. Try to find the beauty in a fragment of time that fascinated John Szarkowski. Add a selection of shots, together with relevant shooting data and a description of your process (how you captured the images), to your learning log.”

I’m very new to using Shutter Priority mode so I decided to keep things simple and focus on one subject whilst varying the shutter speed. We have now sold my house, and are currently staying with my partner’s parents. This gives me the opportunity to shoot in fresh surroundings (a welcome change from my own home)…The following pictures are of a little spinning wind gauge. I can’t claim its a very accurate ‘experiment’, as of course the speed it was rotating at varied. As with earlier projects, this helped me begin to get a feel for how to handle the camera settings.

Its hard to convey this here, but if you look at each image in succession, you get a glimpse of motion as you move through the sequence of images.


I began with a very high shutter speed, and found that I had to crank up the ISO a lot. As my tutor has pointed out I need to work on correct exposure, so I was trying to look more carefully at the available light. I was quite surprised that at the higher shutter speeds,  even during a bright sunny day,  I had to adjust the ISO to 1600. This is the kind of thing that is probably very obvious to anyone with experience!

Image 1 – 1/3200 F13 ISO 1600


Cropped close up


Image 2 – 1/2500 F13 ISO1600


Image 3 – 1/2000 F14 ISO 1600 (I had to wait for the sun for this one. The only way I could have taken an image in cloudy sky would have been to put the ISO up to level ‘Hi 1’)


Image 5 1/1250 F16 ISO 1600


I like this composition the most


Image 6 1/1000 F10 ISO 400 (By this point the shutter speed allowed me to lower the ISO)


Image 7 1/800 F11 ISO 400


Pic 8 1/640 F13 ISO 400



You can see in some cases I have cropped my images, which I gather is a subject that attracts quite a lot of debate and I may well return to this issue another time. What I’ve discovered so far is that the camera didn’t have to be up at the highest shutter speeds to clearly capture this movement 1/640 was perfectly adequate, and I suspect I could have reduced the speed further still.

Something to think about is when would motion blur enhance an image? The static blades don’t convey a sense of motion, which may not be the most effective result. However the beautiful blue sky and gently whirring blades did give me a sense of stillness and peace as I was watching, and I’d like to think I have captured this tranquil mood.


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