Thursday, May 28, 2015

Technique for Sharp Images with Slow Shutter

I am just the king of pithy titles this week.  Feeling very literal, I guess.

A while back I wrote on the forgotten variable in low light photography.  We're all familiar with manipulating shutter speed, aperture, and ISO as a way of keeping images sharp when shutter speeds droop, but few people consider this when shooting in low light. 

The old (and reasonably true) saying is that your shutter speed should be equal to or higher than the millimeter on your lens to avoid motion blur.  Sometimes, though, we're stuck with a shutter speed that is below this rule of thumb.  Setting your mode to the fastest burst setting, and taking multiple shots for each "picture" (in other words, press and hold through multiple shutters) is a technique for increasing your changes of a sharp image.  A portion of hand-held motion blur occurs with the act of pressing the shutter.  We're pushing down with one finger, and up with our other hand holding the camera.  Once the motion is complete, the camera is steadier.

This might seem like a fairly useless tip that produces a dozen images (albeit a few slightly sharper than the others) to sift through.  But if the moment you're attempting to catch is the bride and groom's first kiss in a church that doesn't allow flash photography, it may be worth the frustration.

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