"Shutter Priority" - Podcast 36


Shutter Priority mode is often overlooked in favor or Program and Aperture Priority. But there are many situations where this forgotten mode comes in handy. Today, I discuss using shutter priority to control the appearance of water, freeze action in sports photography, create unique effects with panning, and for controlling the background when using the flash.

In the shot above, I used a fast shutter speed (1/500th) to freeze the action of the breaking wave and capture the mist in the air. If I had wanted a different effect, such as a more ethereal look, then I could mount the camera on the tripod and set the shutter to 1/15th or longer (1/10 or even 1/4). This is a good situation where using Shutter Priority can help you capture the shot you want -- whether it's frozen motion or soft flowing textures.

Listen to the Podcast

Now that I've piqued your curiosity, it's time to listen to today's audio show titled, "Shutter Priority." You can download the podcast here (29 minutes).

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One thing I want to add about working with fast shutter speeds for sports photography, etc., is that it's often a good idea to use burst mode and capture a series of shots instead of just one.

Derrick, I just want to thank you for putting together such a nice podcast week after week. I just recently upgraded to a DSLR (d-rebel XT) and your shows are a great way for me to begin getting the most from my investment. Your clear, relaxed delivery and choices of topic make it a pleasure to listen to. I even took along a couple of podcasts on vacation to Punta Cana and listened to you while reading my owner's manual on the beach (what a geek!).

I thought your podcast on shutter priority was great. I have been working on that for some time, especially with water shots at the beach, and have mixed results. I can generally get the look I want, but then the exposure is not quite right. If I can get one shot out of 20 to keep, I'm lucky. I'm heading out again this weekend and with some of your suggestions to try, I'm hoping to get a better keeper ratio. Please keep up the good work!