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Old Jan 30, 2008, 12:24 AM   #1
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hey guys, im kinda new to the photography stuff, and i was hoping to help my self by asking you guys this quick question. I want to catch pictures of really fast things, like while im in a car or taking pictures of a freeway lets say. I'd to catch that blurry but still clear image. Or like taking picture of light images. Do you guys know what settings i'd have to set my camera on(i use a d40). I know it has something to do with the aperture =/. thanks!
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Old Jan 30, 2008, 11:00 AM   #2
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You'd be better off getting a good basic book on photography than trying to sort this out on a forum.

However I'll give it a try.

To control the exposure you have three settings.

1) ISO this controls how sensitive the sensor is, how much light it needs. The D40 starts at 200 ISO which needs most light but gives the best quality results and goes up to 1600.

2) The shutter speed determines how long the sensor is exposed to light so 1/30 is twice as much light as 1/60.

3) The aperture this is the F stop. A small F number like say F4 light in more light than a large number like F22.

For any scene there are a whole range of settings that will correctly expose the scene. 1/30 @ F11 + 1/60 @F8 = 1/125 @ f5.6 = 1/250 @ F4.

So if you set your camera on P it will select an aperture and shutter speed. Spin the control wheel and it'll change it to another equivalent setting and so on.

To decide on a suitable shutter speed you need to look at the lens you're using at the what you're trying to achieve.

First the lens, if you're not using a tripod it's generally considered that you need a shutter speed tha's the reciporocal of the focal length to prevent camera shake being a problem. So roughly speaking a focal length of 50mm needs a shutter speed of 1/50 or faster. A focal length of 20mm needs a shutter speed of 1/200 or faster.

Next what are you photographing.

If it's still then the shutter speed doesn't matter as long as you aren't getting camera shake. For a landscape you might use a longer shutter speed and a small aperture say F11 to get alarge depth of field ( this is the area of photograph from front to back that appears to be in focus). For a portrait you might use a fast shutter speed and a large aperture say F4 or F2 to give a shallow depth of field and blur the background.

For the freeeway picture you describe you probable want to use a relatively slow shutter speed and pan. That is pic up your subject, track it in the viewfinder and keep moving the camera as you take the shot, this way the car stays sharp because you are following it but the movement blurs the background. This really is trial and error to achieve good results but with digital there's no cost to repeated attempts and isntance feedback to tell you if you've got it right.

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