Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oh Shoot! - Shutter Speeds & Another Special Birthday Gift!!!

So I decided to take a Jessica Sprague class to help me understand my camera a bit better! It's an 8-week, instructor lead class taught by an amazing photographer, Candice Stringham. I typically can get a decent picture but to be quite honest, I don't really know how to use all the manual settings to the best of their abilities and I get quite confused by shutter speeds, aperatures, focal length and everything technical like that.

This week's lesson is about shutter speeds. So far, we have learned the difference between various shutter speeds and a technique called panning. I had no clue what it meant to turn my camera to the "S" for shutter speed priority. Essentially, I pick the shutter speed and the camera figures out the rest of the settings for you. Our first assignment for the week is to practice the same shot with different shutter speeds.

Yesterday, I received a belated birthday gift from my sweet friend, Pam! She loves antique stuff and reminiscing about the past as much as I do! So when she saw me post a picture of an extra special Jack in the Box like one I had as a child, it was her mission to buy me one for my birthday! :) And the timing couldn't have been better.... what a perfect prop to practice shutter speeds!

First I have to tell you, in this class we have to post pictures that are "Straight Out of Camera" - no editing allowed, at least not yet. So these photos are off-centered. (I really wanted to crop them!!)

These pictures were taken while Michael turned the crank on my new Jack in the Box. Thankfully I know just when Jack is going to pop up - "Pop Goes the Weasel" - so I started shooting just at the perfect time and got two great shots right away!

This first picture is showing the blur from a slow shutter speed - 1/40 sec. See his little blurry hand? :(The second picture is showing his cute little hand perfectly up in the air as he pops up! :) Clear and no blurring. This was taken with a faster shutter speed of 1/500 sec.
So there you have it, shutter speeds! :)


  1. the 1/500th looks so good!
    the background is even blurry. i like how crisp it looks.

  2. Shannon, your pictures are NOT supposed to be centered! Rule of thirds - you will probably learn that in Oh Shoot. Have fun!!!

    Mary M

  3. Nice! I hope you share more tidbits here for me to pick up on! {I used to have that same Jack-in-the-box - played with it for HOURS at a time}