Bonsai photography - controlling your exposure - shutter speed
You can control the exposure (how bright or dark your image is) of your bonsai photograph by adjusting several factors.
Three of the main factors you can control on the camera are;
- Camera Aperture
- Camera Shutter speed
- Camera ISO Speed
In this section I will cover shutter speed.
The shutter is what stops the light getting to the light sensor or film if you were using a film camera.
The shutter opens and shuts to let light in.
The shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter remains open to let light onto the light sensor which records the image.
Shutter speed basics
A normal shutter speed using flash photography and a tripod may be 1/60 sec or 1/100 sec.
Anything slower than 1/60 sec become problematic if you are trying to hold the camera. You may get blurry images from camera shake.
Slow shutter speeds
Slow shutter speeds allow more light to hit the light sensor and you can work with less light, combining this with a wider aperture.
Fast shutter speeds
The faster the shutter speed the less time the light has to hit the camera light sensor. Using a really fast shutter speed freezes action and reduces blurring when there is enough light.
Cameras in automatic mode
You will find any modern camera manages shutter speed in automatic mode. You can adjust how the camera manages shutter speed by setting modes on the camera
Cameras in Shutter speed priority
When you set your camera to this mode, you can set the desired shutter speed and the camera will detect the appropriate aperture for the exposure, based on light hitting the light meter when aiming and focussing your shot.
Cameras in manual mode
You can control the shutter speed and aperture on your camera in manual mode. One way to think about aperture and shutter speed is a balancing act. If you don't change the available light, and you increase the shutter speed you will have to decrease the aperture to have the same exposure. You may wish to do this to change the depth of field.