Move in the city (Understand your shutter)

Move in the city (Understand your shutter)

How would you want to paint or draw on your paper? It’s the same question as for how would you want to take your picture.

We could use a ruler and a pencil to draw a nice architecture drawing or used the paintbrush to paint the beauty of the dancer under the sunset. But we won’t use the ruler for sketching the dancer or use the paint brush to draw the architectural drawing, will we?

Of course, I for one strongly believe in basic and foundation, that’s the knowledge for us to understand our tools and they are all correlated, especially photography where it’s a perfect mixture of science and art. So, once we understand all these, it will be time for us to explore the limitation, break the rules and create arts.

Too often, we get the comments from rules & technology guardian who concern only the exposure, sharpness, bokeh, depth-of-field, one-third rules, noise, composition, corrected colour, etc. These rules guide us but shouldn’t rule us. But of course, there’s always the visual principal that we can’t break away from: Balance, Consistency, Hierarchy, Proportion, etc. And also the context of the message, the motive, the interaction, the vision. Thus the basic knowledge of the arts is far more important and it takes us forever to study, compare to the effortless guidelines (rules).

Shutter, one of the primary component of a photograph taken, need our full attention to use it well. We know its function very clearly, it controls the time of the image exposed on our sensor/film, corresponding with the aperture to capture the amount of light for the exposure we wanted. And the faster shutter, the better it freezes the moment.

Thus, rules guardian start creates guides, sport > fast action > high speed > sharper image, then dark time > need more light > slow shutter > tripod, then water/light trail > continuous flow > slow speed > tripod, the list goes on. These are not wrong, in fact they are all good guide, only when it fall into our vision.

The more you understand what shutter can do to the image, then you can control your image.

Take the Shot

I wanted an image with dynamic motion of pedestrian, to show the fast pace of city (it works well to deliver the sense of movement to the audience). The swinging direction gives it a more interesting visual movement to the visual track of the viewer will go back and forth within the frame.

I used a shutter priority mode and 1/15 speed was chosen, it’s slow enough for me to move my camera around while the shutter is open. To give a nice “blur”, swing the camera before pressing the shutter release and continue swinging after the shutter close.

Total of 3 shot was taken and this is the closest to what I visualised in my mind.

Post Processing

I used Adobe Lightroom for the post-processing, colour has been enhanced and I pushed the contrast to a higher level to give a more “graphical” look.

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