Category Archives: shutter speed


It’s almost Halloween. And…you may wonder (or not, but just in case)… how do you photograph jack-o-lanterns in the dark so that they look lit up? Well, here’s one way that I did it. You know, just in case it helps you.

I did not use a flash, because a flash just kind of kills it. I prefer the look of the warm candlelight coming through the jack-o-lantern face. I did however use a slow shutter speed (to allow lots of light to enter into my camera) and a high ISO (again for more light) and a wide aperture (bigger opening in my lens allowing more light). Each of these things allowed more light to enter my camera but my shutter speed was pretty slow which sometimes makes for a blurry picture. So I rested the camera body on the ground and just pressed the shutter… didn’t even pick up the camera, that way it was steady and could handle a slow shutter speed. Check it out.

ISO – 4000
aperture – F 2.0
shutter speed – 1/30 second

Happy halloween and FYI, these are tiny pumpkins. For some reason my boys wanted to carve the smallest pumpkins that they could get their hands on this year. Carving super small pumpkins…it’s a challenge for sure.  :)

30 Days of Photography Tips… Day 9

DAY #9!

TIP #9: Keep your shutter speed 1/160 second or faster when photographing children.

This tip, like many of them is simply my personal preference and what I’ve found to work for me. I try to keep my shutter speed at 1/160 of a second or faster when I’m photographing little children who move and wiggle. Most of my shots include children and I do not want soft out of focus pictures. My goal is usually a sharp clear focus in my images. So keeping my shutter at 1/160 or faster helps me achieve that. Play around. See what you like. Try a slow shutter speed like 1/80 second. Then try a faster one 1/200 second or 1/1000 second and see what happens. It helps you learn and perfect your manual camera skills.

The shutter speed on this shot below was 1/400 second.

The shutter speed on this shot below was 1/200 second.

30 Days of Photography Tips… Day 3

DAY #3!

TIP #3: When setting up your manual camera settings, set your shutter speed third.

The shutter speed is how fast or slow the shutter on your camera opens. The shutter is in your camera body, not your lens. It opens and closes when you press down the button/shutter and allows light to come into your camera. The shutter is what makes the clicking sound when you take a picture. That sound is the shutter opening and closing.

Shutter speed is shown in fraction form. The fraction is referring to the 1/15 of a second (slow) that it takes the shutter to open and close. Or the 1/6000 of a second (fast) it takes to open and close.

A slow shutter speed allows more light to come in because the shutter is open longer. But since the shutter is opened longer it also allows for some movement in your picture (motion blur) if it’s open longer than 1/80 of a second and there is a moving object/child in front of the camera. Continue to learn more about shutter speed here.

I would recommend setting your ISO on your camera first (based on the lighting), then your aperture second (based on the creative look you desire), then your shutter speed third (to get correct exposure).

This image below was shot with a shutter speed of 1/1600 second. That is a relatively fast shutter speed. I chose a fast shutter speed because it was a very bright day and I wanted to get correct exposure on my image (not have it be too bright) and also because I wanted to capture him mid-kick.

shooting pics inside at home

Here are some recent pictures that I shot inside my home during the middle of the day. The windows were open but no lights were on. We were having marshmallow wars (super fun by the way). I was using my canon 5D mark II camera body and my 35mm 1.4L lens. I was standing up on a chair for these farther away action shots. You can see that when my shutter speed is down near 1/100 of a second that there’s a bit of movement sometimes from the boys. I had my shutter speed down low/slow because I needed more light to enter my camera. If I had put it at a faster speed like maybe 1/300 of a second then the pictures probably wouldn’t have movement and the wiggly boys would be sharper, but they would be darker. :)

My manual settings for the three similar pictures below:
ISO – 2500
shutter – 1/100 second
aperture – F 2.8
lens – 35mm 1.4L

My manual settings for the picture below:
ISO – 2500
shutter – 1/100 second (see the movement in the flying marshmallow?)
aperture – F 2.5
lens – 35mm 1.4L

My manual settings for this picture below:
ISO – 2500
shutter – 1/100 second  (notice the movement in my boy’s hand/arm since he’s moving so fast, it’s not super sharp)
aperture – F 2.5
lens – 35mm 1.4L