Creativity in Setting Aperture and Shutter Speed

Bryan Peterson explains how to achieve creatively correct exposure with your dSLR. He shows an example of shooting a man who jumps up. When he chooses the correct exposure with f22 to f3.5 the subject comes out blurry because the shutter speed for the correct exposure is way too slow to capture a fast moving object. He is trying to convey that the pair of F stop and shutter speed will always give the "correct" exposure for the current lighting situation. However, when we are shooting the jumping man for instance, we do need the shutter speed to be around 1/500 to get the man sharp in his action. This is what he calls creativity in selecting your parameters for the right exposure.

When you plan taking a photo, ask yourself what you want to achieve. If it is a waterfall, you may way the water to be blurry. Then you need to increase the shutter speed, as oppose to the example with the jumping man where you prefer him to be sharp.

The other side of the exposure selection is choosing what depth of field you need for the shot. If it is a landscape, the F stop should be 16-22 because you want everything to be sharp from a few meters distance to far away. When making a portrait, it is another story, usually a model is highlighted by making the background blurry. That way all attention of the viewer is focused on the model. In this case your F stop should be 4 or less, depending on the lens you are using. It may go down to 1.4 or 1.2.

Don't forget about the ISO setting that may help reduce the shutter speed if necessary. It increases the sensitivity of your camera and it can shoot with faster shutter speed at the same aperture. It is often vital for taking a photo in low light environment, handheld because there is a limit to the shutter speed which you can use without a tripod not having blurred images.

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