Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Exercise 4 revisited .. with a little help from Nelson

Although my initial efforts addressed the brief of producing a set of photographs that demonstrated the influence of shutter speed on movement of the subject, I felt that a more photogenic setting would have helped the cause.  A trip up to London, initially to research some images for the ‘Contrasts‘ assignment and also to go to the World Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum and the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, gave me the chance to look at water movement again, this time using the fountains in Trafalgar Square.  I wanted to get the movement going across the frame, so although I did shoot several sequences of the famous fountains, I spent most time with the squirting dolphins (at least, I think they are dolphins!).  These gave a consistent and rapid water flow and also gave me the chance to get close with the minimum of disruption from tourists.  I’ll write more about the two exhibitions and what I learnt there in a later blog after I have assimilated my thoughts on an awful lot of very different pictures.

I shot 12 images from 1/6000sec down to 0.3sec.  I also observed the influence of shutter speed on aperture: the table below shows the relationship as the camera sought to maintain ‘correct’ exposure.

1/6000sec         f/4                    1/3000sec         f/4                    1/1500sec         f/4

1/750sec           f/4                    1/350sec           f/5.6                 1/180sec           f/8

1/90sec             f/11                  1/45sec             f/16                  1/20sec             f/22

1/10sec             f/22                  1/6sec              f/22                  0.3sec              f/22

This was a far more powerful water flow than in the weir pool exercise and 1/1500sec was the slowest shutter speed at which I would say that the water was frozen in motion.  AT 1/180sec the water plume had lost all definition and this gradually declined further as the shutter speed decreased.  At 1/20 sec individual droplets of water were streaked right across the frame.  The images I took are shown below.

Technical details:

Canon 5D Mk II with 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens

82mm       |     ISO200













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