Exercise – Shutter Speeds

This exercise demonstrates the effect of varied shutter speeds has on the ability to stop motion, or not, of a given photographic subject. In this instance I use water sprinkling out of a shower head. The camera was mounted on a tripod and a Nikkor AF-S 50mm lens used as the lens. Initially due to low light conditions, I tried using a flash, but could only sync it up to 1/200 shutter speed. I then tried a single bright LED torch, hoping to provide a constant light source, mitigating the cameras’ tendency to compensate for varying shutter speeds by opening or closing the aperture to maintain a constant exposure (which it was only unevenly able to do).


Photo 1 – 1/800th second


The camera tried to compensate for the generally low light condition and fast shutter speed but image still appears darker than was actually the case. Motion of the water droplets ahs not been adequately frozen.


Photo 2 – 1/500th second


Blurring due to motion somewhat more apparent in this image.


Photo 3 – 1/100th second



Photo 4 – 1/50 second



Photo 5 – 1/10th second



Photo 6 – 1 second


Droplet motion now renders as an indistinct blur.


Photo 7 – 3 seconds


One of the aims of the exercise was to find the slowest shutter at which the apparent motion appears to be frozen, and I have to say that even a 1/800th shutter speed did not seem to show this. I note however that using an on-camera flash, rather than the torch, at 1/200th shutter speed did freeze the action enough, as shown below:


Photo 8 – 1/200th second, with flash



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