Can someone explain the static verses dynamic action shot - shutter/aperture?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Stilltime, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Stilltime

    Stilltime TPF Noob!

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    Warning! Painful newb questions ahead. If that bores you, move along.

    Like the title says, can someone explain static versus dynamic action shots in relation to shutter speeds and aperture? I can get decent action shots in auto ("green box" mode) or in shutter priority mode, but I think if I understood the principles behind getting the shot I would be able to apply it to my camera better.

    Someone in another thread mentioned opening up the aperture to "smooth" out a water scene. That would make a more dynamic photo, showing motion, as opposed to a really crisp static photo. Right?

    I mostly take pictures of kid and my dogs and horses, so, lots of movement. I want to get nice crisp shots of the subjects, but not necessarily of the surrounding environment as well. I'm having a hard time finding the happy medium between that, and a blurred subject, or a totally static picture.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson - a good book to get and should help you a lot with the questions you are asking. Many on this sit have used this book to good effect and it does help.

    As for what you are after firstly for action you need a fast shutter speed -as fast as you can get without ruining the exposure of the shot - that way you increase you chances of freezing action.
    There are 4 basic way to help you be able to use a faster shutter speed in a shot:

    1) Increase the ISO - of course increasing the ISO will introduce noise into a shot and increasing it too much can lead to you getting very noisey shots that lack in details. Different cameras handle noise differently and some are much better than others (generally speaking the higher up the cost of the camear the better its noise handeling)

    2) Increase you aperture (that means use a smaller f number) - this will in turn let more light through the lens and into the camera, however a wider aperture has a smaller depth off field (less in a shot will be in foucs) and will increase the degree of background blur as well. A lot of this is experience and its also very dependant on the range to your subject; the size and depth of the subject; the distance to the background and the focal length of the lens you are using. Practise is the best thing (I find here) for understanding this so just play with aperture and see how it goes.

    3) Use flash - though your max shutter speed will be around 1/200sec - 1/250sec the burst of flash light will help you freeze action. Of course there are times when flash won't work or when its not possible to use it (horses can get spooked by it and I know its not allowed at any racing events for fear of spooking the horses - but its a horse by horse thing and some are not phased - same goes for all animals - and even some people ;)).

    4) shoot on a bright day :)
     
  3. Stilltime

    Stilltime TPF Noob!

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    Thanx for the book suggestion. I'm going to assume I will be able to find this at a library? Otherwise, any other suggestions for the library?
     
  4. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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  5. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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