shutter speed tagged posts

How To Photograph a Waterfall

by Anthony Morganti

Glen Falls-2

Everyone loves a good waterfall.

Photographing a waterfall is one of the mainstays in landscape photography. There’s something about the milky smooth flow of water captured by a camera. Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult to do. All you need are a waterfall and a few tools.

The Key

There is one key to photographing a waterfall and that is to make sure you use a long exposure. Using a long exposure means that a greater amount of water will flow over the crest of the falls while the shutter is open and because of that, the moving water will blur. The blurring water will be rendered silky smooth by your camera’s sensor or by your camera’s film if you’re so equipped.

Akron Falls

A long exposure is key in waterfall photography. In this photo, a shutter speed of 1...

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Notes On Aperture & Hyperfocal Distance

by Anthony Morganti

When I started out in photography over thirty years ago and photographed landscapes wanting the entire scene in focus, I generally stopped my lens all the way down to the smallest aperture available and snapped away. Later I learned that this wasn’t always optimal because, at smaller apertures, an effect referred to as diffraction comes into play. The image effectively becomes distorted when the light moves through the smaller aperture.

Eventually I learned that as far as sharpness is concerned, a lens is at it’s sharpest 2-4 full stops closed down from wide open.

f-stop chart

Using the diagram above, if your lens’s maximum aperture is f/2.8, you can assume that it is at it’s sharpest between f/5.6 and f/11...

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Two Filters I Won’t Leave Home Without

by Anthony Morganti

In my film days – before there were things called Lightroom and Photoshop, I had a huge bag that was chock full of lens filters. Color correcting filters, star filters, soft focus filters, vignette filters and several different colors of graduated filters. Today, I’ve replaced all of those filters with Lightroom and Photoshop.

It’s amazing what can be done in post nowadays, but today, there still are a couple filters that go with me everywhere because they can’t be replaced by software — that would be a circular polarizer and a 10 Stop ND filter.

Circular Polarizer

Circular Polarizer

A Circular Polarizer lets in 2 stops less of light

Back in the day when, like Billy Joel, I wore a younger man’s clothes, one of the first filters I purchased was a circular polarizer...

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Understanding Exposure – Part 4: Putting It All Together

by Anthony Morganti

This is the final part of my four part series, Understanding Exposure. This series of articles attempts to explain everything a photographer needs to know about how the light gets into their camera and how their camera uses that light to record the scene.

In part 1 we discussed ISO. We followed that up talking about Shutter Speed and Aperture in parts 2 and 3.

Part 1: ISO can be found here

Part 2: Shutter Speed can be found here

Part 3: Aperture can be found here

In this final installment, I’d like to wrap things up with some real world examples of how it was important to prioritize one, be it ISO, shutter speed or aperture over the other two.

You may remember in part 1 we spoke of ISO and I talked about how I had to boost the ISO up to 1000 to achieve a shutter sp...

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Understanding Exposure – Part 3: Aperture

by Anthony Morganti

This is part three of our four part series, Understanding Exposure. This series of articles will explain everything a photographer needs to know about how light gets into their camera and how their camera uses that light to record the scene.

Part 1: ISO can be found here

Part 2: Shutter Speed can be found here

Today we’re going to talk about aperture.

Inside the lens of your DSLR is a diaphragm that can open and close letting varying amounts of light pass through the lens to the sensor. This diaphragm and the size of it’s opening is often referred to as the aperture.

The small hole you can see in the center of the lens opens and closes to let varying amounts of light though to the image sensor.

The small hole you can see in the center of the lens opens and closes to let varying amounts of light though to the image sensor.

The size of the diaphragm or aperture is given a number designation call...

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Understanding Exposure – Part 2: Shutter Speed

by Anthony Morganti

This is part two of our four part series, Understanding Exposure. This series of articles will explain everything a photographer needs to know about how the light gets into their camera and how their camera uses light to record the scene.

In Part 1 we discussed ISO — how it works and why you would choose a particular value of ISO.

In this, Part 2, we’ll be discussing Shutter Speed. In my opinion, Shutter Speed is the easiest of the exposure triumvirate to understand — the triumvirate being ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

In most modern DSLR’s the shutter is a curtain that moves vertically up to open and allow light that’s coming through the lens to pass to the image sensor. When the exposure is done, it closes from the bottom.

Common shutter speeds in most mod...

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Understanding Exposure – Part 1: ISO

by Anthony Morganti

This is part one of our four part series, Understanding Exposure. This series of articles will explain everything a photographer needs to know about how the light gets into their camera and how their camera uses that light to record the scene.

Today we’re going to talk about ISO. In digital photography, ISO refers to the sensitivity of their camera’s image sensor. The higher the number, the more sensitive the sensor is.

Every time the number is doubled, the amount of light needed to record the scene is halved.

So, in other words, an ISO of 200 requires half as much light to record the same scene if the ISO were set at 100. Carrying along on that line of thought, an ISO of 400 requires just a ¼ of the light. 800 ISO requires 1/8th the light...

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