Question about high shutter speeds


TPF Noob!
Feb 3, 2012
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Hello. I am very new here and I just introduced myself in the introduction section.
Please keep in mind that I am very new to digital photography. This may seem straight
forward for some but I just can not figure this out. I also tried searching the web, without success.
Here is my problem:

I have a Canon 600D (max shutter speed = 1/4000). When I take pictures at high shutter speeds,
lets say anything above 1/125, my image gets really dark. Now I know that the aperture and ISO
settings play a major role in this. However I am wondering how other people are not having the same
problems. Please look at this video:

Please fast forward to 1:44. He takes the picture with the following settings:

Aperture: f8.0
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 800

If I take a picture with those settings (even straight into a light bulb, i would get a dark image).

Another example: please fast forward to 4:08. He takes the picture with the following settings:

Aperture: f3.2
Shutter Speed: 1/3200
ISO: 800

How is that possible? Please I am very confused and I dont always want to bring my flash along with me
(which also only gives me the possibility to shoot at 1/180 because of the sync speed).

Like I said I am very new here, please dont hate on me ;)

Thank you in advance for your help,

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How is this not possible?
Are you using manual mode when you said you get dark image when shooting a light bulb, or are you really just sayin'?

I use aperture priority and decide my ISO settings as I go, with metrix metering most of the time. It's been fine.

Also, this is film forum.

On a side note, pretty much all of what I do are street and this guy does it pretty well. I guess I need to look less like a photographer lol! There are many times when people think I am a journalist seeing the huge black thing in my hand and a camera bag, which can be a good or bad thing. What I sometimes wish is no shutter sound to tip off subjects I am trying to shoot. Then again, in places where people expect tourists, it's quite easy to get shoots without creating awkward moments. However the more interesting shots often are in situations when people don't expect attention, which can be a challenge to shoot without arousing confusion.
How is this not possible?
Are you using manual mode when you said you get dark image when shooting a light bulb

yes I am using manual mode. I just do not understand how he can go down to 1/3200 and get an image with good exposure. When I go down to 1/3200 i get a black picture (using his settings)

I am very sorry for posting this in the wrong section. Can a mod please move this?
This is a picture I took of a light bulb. It is extremely bright but in this picture it is not. It is not possible that the lighting on the street was brighter than my light blub from about a meter away. Or is it?

but isnt it about the total brightness of the scene?
Suggestion, learn the triangle (ISO, shutter speed, aperture)
i am aware of that. i just dont get the results that this guy is getting with the same settings
You're trying to apply his settings to your situation. Set your camera to AV, set the F-stop to F8 and see what the camera picks for a shutter speed. Then set your camera to TV and start with a shutter speed of about 1/100. Now increase the shutter speed taking a pic at each speed. Pay attention to what you camera picks for an F-stop.

You need to learn what light your camera sees. Keep watching youtube, but understand that your scene dictates your settings, not the setting someone used in theirs.
I think you need a better understanding of Light Values (LV) or Exposure Values of a scene. When you understand them better it makes Perfect Sense.

A scene that he shot at 4:08 was in shade, that would have an EV of 11 or 12. Which at ISO 800 and f/3.2 would require a Shutter speed of1/3200 or there abouts.

A single light bulb does not put out anywhere near the light energy of shaded sunlight, a 60 watt bulb is about EV5, so if you shot at the same settings, your exposure would be 7 stops under. Which is why you see Filament but nothing else illuminated ( there is difference also in the filament brightness and subject illumination from the bulb) You would have probably needed an exposure of ISO800 f/3.2 1/25 to see scene illumination from that bulb, in close proximity)

Depending on the tie of day, the ball of sun is about 5 stop brighter than what it illuminates which would be EV15 (Standard Sunny day Scene) Which at ISO 800 F3.2 wuld be a shutter speed of 1/20,000 which is beyond most cameras

It all make perfect sense when you know about it
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What is your METER saying when you evaluate the scene you are about to shoot? I would go there, rather than comparing what someone else did! :)
like i said i am a beginner... thank you very much for the kind feedback so far
If I take a picture with those settings (even straight into a light bulb, i would get a dark image).

A standard 60W incandescent bulb puts out about 100-120 LUX. Outdoors, Illuminance can vary from 10,000 LUX on an overcast day up to 120,000 LUX on a bright sunny day. That is orders of magnitude higher than your light bulb you are shooting at.
Listen to Rephargotohp.

Which light source do you think is the brightest - a light bulb or the sun? Your light bulb is, at best, able to poorly lit an entire room. The sun brings the day ;) The filament of the bulb is quite bright, but everything else around it isn't. It all boils down to the exposure values. These EVs aren't very common on modern cameras, but on older ones those were what we exposed after. I took some shots in a poorly lit indoor scene last evening. That room had an EV at about 5-6. At ASA-400 I used f/1.7 and 1/15ht of a second, and then I exposed for something around EV6.5 if I remember correctly.

So, go outside and try your settings in a scene similar to Kai's, and you'll see it'll be better. :thumbsup:
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