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06-29-2009, 06:34 PM   #1
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Using high shutter speeds

Hello,

I have a quick question about high shutter speeds. Whenever I put on a very high shutters speeds 1/1000+, then the shot is very dark, even when I try to keep the aperture as high as I can. This is is broad daylight, so I don't know what to do to make it a useable pic.

06-29-2009, 07:05 PM   #2
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I'm not really an expert here, but I guess the obvious question is, What are you trying to photograph at such high shutter speeds?

The basic problem that you're experiencing is that there's not enough light getting to your CCD/film to expose the picture properly.

The amount of light getting to the CCD/film is a combination of your shutter speed (how long the shutter is left open) and the aperature set on your lense (how big the hole in the lense is).

For a constant aperature (hole size), If the shutter speed is too short or too long, you'll get an under-exposed (dark) or over-exposed (white) picture.

Likewise, for a constant shutter speed, if the aperature hole is too small or too large, you'll get the same result.

Getting the right shutterspeed and aperature setting is where your skill and experience comes into play. Else use the auto setting on your camera to do it all for you

HTH,
Tim
06-29-2009, 11:09 PM   #3
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What mode are you shooting in and give us an example; what aperture and what shutter speed.
06-30-2009, 12:00 AM   #4
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what are you trying to shoot at broad daylight?

in anycase, please check your exposure compensation level and ISO as well. are you shooting in a dark shade? the worst case scenario is that you have a defective or broken CCD.

06-30-2009, 04:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by swhang Quote
Hello,

I have a quick question about high shutter speeds. Whenever I put on a very high shutters speeds 1/1000+, then the shot is very dark, even when I try to keep the aperture as high as I can. This is is broad daylight, so I don't know what to do to make it a useable pic.
It sounds like you are shooting in manual mode. This is, naturally, the easiest mode for the photographer to be the element assing up the shot. (No offense....we've all done it).

You have to have a shutter/aperture combination that allows a sufficient amount of light to reach the sensor (or film). If your shots are dark, then either your shutter speed is too high or your aperture is too small. Remember that for aperture a small number means a big opening (lots of light comes through) and a big number means a small opening (less light coming through).

If you have both a fast shutter speed and a big aperture number then it isn't surprising that your photos may be dark. It all depends on how much light there is to begin with.

Try shooting in Tv mode and let the camera choose your aperture for you automatically. If the aperture indicated in the camera display is going blinky-blinky-blinky that means there isn't enough light to shoot with that shutter speed and that particular lens (the lens is opening up as wide as it can, and it still isn't open wide enough is what the blinking means). In that case, try increasing your ISO until the blinking goes away.

It might help if you familiarize yourself with the Sunny 16 rule

For example:

With an ISO of 100 in bright sunlight and your aperture set to f16, your shutter speed would be (roughly) 1/100

That will yield a properly exposed photograph. We can change both the shutter speed and the aperture if we wish. Just remember that as one goes up the other must go down....it helps if you think of it like a see-saw.

1/100 @ f16
1/200 @ f11
1/400 @ f8
1/800 @ f5.6
1/1600 @ f4

Of course, those exact shutter speeds may not be available on your camera. Don't sweat it. As in horseshoes and hand grenades, close enough is close enough.

So for your chosen speed of 1/1000 you would want to have your aperture somewhere around f5.6. If you're using a higher number (smaller opening) then your photos will be underexposed. If you're using a lower number (larger opening) then your photos will be overexposed.

If you don't like the depth-of-field you get from that particular aperture, then increase your ISO. The same figures for ISO 400 would be:

1/400 @ f16
1/800 @ f11
1/1600 @ f8

So you would shoot at 1/1000 at f11.

As Velvet Jones used to say...."It's as simple as that".

Last edited by Mike Cash; 07-01-2009 at 03:57 AM.
06-30-2009, 07:50 PM   #6
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Thanks Mike, you cleared a few things up for me too!
Tim
07-01-2009, 05:53 AM   #7
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If you're using Tv make sure your camera can choose the widest range of ISO. I had troubles until I went into the menu and fully expanded the ISO range. In full light, it wasn't a problem, but as the day dimmed the camera would want to move beyond the 400ISO limit the menu was set for.
07-01-2009, 06:07 AM   #8
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Why don't you read the article mentioned in this post: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-photography-techniques-styles/644...n-website.html

It gives you a good explanation of the 3 variables you have in getting the right expsore: shutterspeed, aperture and ISO value.

- Bert

07-01-2009, 08:17 AM   #9
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Even if you have cranked up the aperture to its largest opening but the shutter speed is just to fast to get the right TV/AV combination, then the camera will underexpose.
To experiment and see which shutter speed is actually right for that fully open aperture is to set your camera to M mode and set the aperture opening to its fullest (in the same shooting conditions you had before..broad daylight) and set the shutter speed to your desired setting (say 1/1000).
Take the shot and see what comes out.
If the picture is underexposed or too dark, do it all over (AV opening still the same) and turn down your shutter speed setting (1/500).
Take the shot again and if it is still underexposed, repeat above instructions but still turning down your shutter speed until you get the correct exposure.
If you finally get the correct exposure, you will find out that for that combination that worked, even if the aperture opening was way open, it doesn't actually follow that you should be able to use a very high shutter speed.
It all depends on the right combination (TV/AV) and shooting condition.
07-01-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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The book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson has been a great resource for me. (also a newbie)
07-01-2009, 04:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kewpie-o Quote
The book Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson has been a great resource for me. (also a newbie)
+1 on the reference book. It is well done and a great intro (and beyond) to the concept of exposure w/o getting too technical. Then again I enjoy Bryan Peterson's writing style enough to have added three of his other books. All were very reasonably priced on Amazon.
07-01-2009, 07:59 PM   #12
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Thank you for not blaming the camera.
07-02-2009, 04:32 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by KungPOW Quote
Thank you for not blaming the camera.
Or as any golfer knows....it's not the putter but rather it's the putter...think about it.
07-03-2009, 05:07 AM   #14
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I hate it when people ask questions, get helpful answers, and give not the slightest indication that they ever bothered to even come back and read them.
07-14-2009, 12:23 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
I hate it when people ask questions, get helpful answers, and give not the slightest indication that they ever bothered to even come back and read them.
I just found the way to find all my threads. I was sincerely looking for this thread, but just couldn't find it.

Thanks all for the input. I think I did do it in program mode. I'll try the suggestions. Thanks so much!
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