Photography, Introduction to Speed and Movement – an article by Goff James

Here I am trying to learn how to take a decent photograph with my new camera. Progress is slow but I am enjoying it. Just have to take it step by step. Unfortunately I am rather good at forgetting things!

Shutter speed, also referred to as “exposure time”, represents;

the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor.

Slow Shutter speed creates an effect called “motion blur”, where moving objects appear blurred along the direction of the motion.


Goff James, Movement, 2017

Slow shutter speeds are also used to photograph lightnings or other objects at night or in dim environments with a tripod.

Landscape photographers intentionally use slow shutter speeds to create a sense of motion on rivers and waterfalls, while keeping everything else in focus.


Marc AdamusEndless Falls (2007)
Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon

Fast shutter speed is typically whatever it takes to freeze action.

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Bob Martin, Title and Date Unstated.

Aperture size affects the Depth of Field in an image and which area of the image will be sharp.

A large f-number such as f/32, (smaller aperture) brings all foreground and background objects in focus.


Paul White, Autumn Grindleford, Date Unstated

A small f-number such as f/1.4 (large aperture) isolates the foreground from the background by making the foreground objects sharp and the background blurred and out of focus.


Aaron Siskind, Martha’s Vineyard, 1954-59

DSLR Camera Settings

The manual and semi-auto settings give one more creative control of a DSLR camera.

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A (Av) Aperture-priority /Autoexposure

The user selects the f-stop and the camera selects shutter speed that will produce a good exposure.

S (Sv) Shutter-priority / Autoexposure

The user sets the shutter speed and the camera selects the f-stop that will produce a good exposure.

M Manual Exposure

The user controls both the shutter speed and f-stop.


The common shutter speeds are:

1s  1/2s  1/4s  1/8s  1/15s  1/30s  1/60s  1/125s  1/250s  1/500s  1/1000s  1/2000s

Fast shutter speeds such as;

1/250s will freeze faster moving subjects, depending on their speed of movement.

Slow shutter speeds such as:

1/30s and slower will create motion blur with moving subjects, depending upon their speed of movement.

One has to remember that depending on the choice of lens  one should ideally select a shutter speed of at least 1/60s to prevent camera shake without using a tripod.

So much to remember! So Easily forgotten!!

Reference List

Andrew Johnson, 2017, Lesson Transcript

Photography, Introduction to Exposure – an article by Goff James

Today I am attempting to try and understand the function of exposure in DSLR photography.

Being a newcomer to taking photographs with a DSLR camera to state that understanding the various terminology and options open to me for controlling the exposure of the image is rather overwhelming is no understatement.

Why is shooting with a DSLR so complicated? As I understand it’s down to something called film speed (ISO). ISO (Film Speed) can change. Helpful!

Consequently aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are three different settings that affect exposure.

Exposure Basics

Exposure on a D/SLR is controlled by using the correct combination of:





Shutter Speeds, Aperture settings and film speeds are able to creatively combined in many different ways to produce different creative effects.

(Andrew Johnson, 2017, DSLR Camera, An Introduction)

Exposure, the choice of aperture, shutter speed and ISO have a significant impact on the look and feel of ones images.

Exposure permits light to hit the camera sensor to record an image.

Remember to activate the camera meter by half-pressing the shutter release.

Aperture affects the depth of field, or how much of an image appears sharp.

Shutter Speed also affects image sharpness, with slower shutter speeds leading to blurred images

ISO enables one to use the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed when the amount of light would normally prevent you from doing so.


However, increasing the ISO also reduces the quality of ones images.


Reference List

Photography, Back to Basics – an article by Goff James

Here I am trying to understand what DSLR means. For someone who views trying to fix a screw into a wall as a challenge this is something else!

I have suddenly discovered that D/SLR is an abbreviation that stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. I have to admit that, as one who sees oneself very much as a technophobe, I find getting my head around another acronym painful.

Understanding how the technology transforms pointing a DSLR camera into capturing an image is another leap of faith. It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here goes!


When taking a digital photograph one is able to see the subject before taking an image by the mirror.

When taking an image the mirror will swing up and light will go to the sensor instead.

1. Camera lens

2. Reflex mirror

3. Focal-plane shutter

4. Image sensor

5.Matte focusing screen Condenser lens

7. Pentaprism/pentamirror

8. Viewfinder eyepiece


With a D/SLR camera one sees exactly what the lens sees.

One can change the lens on a digital DSLR. Digital SLRs have large image sensors that produce high-quality photos.

A D/SLR has a near-zero lag time, and is ideal for action photography.

The Anatomy of a Digital SLR

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Some simple mechanics of a D/SLR camera.

The Key Elements.

Light passes through the lens and strikes a mirror (green).

The mirror reflects the light up to a focusing screen.

Light passes through the focusing screen and enters a block of glass called a pentaprism (orange).

The pentaprism reflects the image so that one can see it in the viewfinder.

When one takes a photo, the mirror flips up and a shutter (blue) opens that exposes the digital sensor (red) to light.

What-one-sees-is-what-one-gets! Through using the viewfinder one can precisely compose the image and adjust the focus.

Reference List

Photography, Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow! – An article by Goff James

Recap – Speed v Size, Clear v Blur!

Aperture, shutter speed and focal length are a DSLR’s vital ingredients.

Exposure is the result of two factors;

  •   Speed of shutter opening and closing and is measured in fractions of a second:         1/1000 (Fastest) … 1/2 ( Slowest),
  •   Aperture size (width of opening through which light passes) is measured in           f-stops; f/1,4 (Open Maximum) … f/32 (Closed Minimum).                                                      

If one combines a fast shutter speed 1/1000 with the widest aperture setting of f/1,4 the resulting image is crisp and clear

A clear image attempts to capture a scene in perfect focus.

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Marc Adamus, Vibrant, 2007, Fall, Wild Rose, Aspen, Jasper, Athabasca, River, Sunset

In this image entitled Vibrant, Marc Adamus appears when looking out over the foliage in the foreground to have applied a narrow shutter speed and in so doing has kept everything in focus. Within the image there is an interesting interplay between textures, light, shapes and shadows. The rule of thirds has made for a balanced composition. This is an ideal compositional combination when photographing a landscape.



Goff James, Skytrain, 2017

In this image entitled Skytrain, I have used the platform barrier to draw the viewer’s eye into the image and creates interest. The barrier, train, buildings and their shadows are fused almost almost into abstraction and are the main source of interest. Compositionally the use of the black and white format accentuates the dramatic tension within the image.

If one combines a slow shutter speed 1/2 with the smallest aperture setting of f/32 the resulting image is blurred.


Ernst Haas, Swimmers, 1984, Olympics, LA

In this image entitled Swimmers, Ernst Haas appears to have used a slow shutter speed (- set on a tripod – may have locked the focus on a specific point – has moved the camera as he fired the shutter [panning]) and in so doing the resulting image is blurred. The blurring adds a great sense of drama to the image.

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Goff James, Glow Flow, 2017


Goff James, Moving Forwards, 2017



Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, 1978(2/3), Gelatin Silver Print, (Dimensions Unstated)

In this image of Richard AvedonIrving Penn has adoptedIn this image entitled Skytrain, Goff James has used the the platform barrier to draw the viewer’s eye into the image and creates interest. that draws ones eye into the photograph. The sitter is captured in a three-quarters perspective that breathes life into the image. The longer focal length has blurred the background and flattened the depth of field. In so doing Penn a has raised the the subject from the background and out towards the viewer.


IMGP0153aCrop Blur B&WFB0

Goff James, “LT”, 2017

The result of an incorrect combination of aperture and shutter speed is an overexposed or underexposed image. Consequently a dramatic effect is created.


Reference List

Glenwright J., (2008), Digital Photography Step-by-Step, London, Collins.(


Photography, Twist or Tilt? High or Low? – An article by Goff James


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Goff James, Lines, 2017

Nowadays I am trying to get to grips with finding and exploring differing viewpoints and in so doing try to create more dramatic images using fast shutter speeds in the style of Aleksandr Rodchenko.


I have been out and about with my Samsung searching for and using different vantage points that are both thought-provoking and engaging. The shutter speed of the Samsung’s camera allows me to freeze movement as well as create precise sharp architectural images.


 “One has to take several different shots of a subject, from different points of view and in different situations, as if one examined it in the round rather than looked through the same key-hole again and again.”

Aleksandr Rodchenko



Goff James, Skytrain, 2017

The photo shoot was brief, experimental and interesting. A numerous set of images were taken, scrutinised, edited and final selection made for presentation and discussion. The images below were my final selection.


Goff James, White Rectangle,2017


Goff James, Intersections, 2017


Goff James, Trapped, 2017