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Photography Question 

freezing motion

How do I know when to take the shot? I was having a tough impossible time of it this weekend. Trying everything from tossing spaghetti in the air, breaking eggs, tossing ganache, and was not sure when to take the shot, seemed I released after the fact every time.
Also took some freeze action at my swimming pool at night with ISO 400 B/W...what would be some ideal exposure combos for this?
Thanks all

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5/24/2005 10:37:22 AM

Kerry L. Walker   You are going to have to practice following the action through the viewfinder. Even then, you will have to anticipate a little bit due to the fact that it will take your finger a little longer to press the shutter release than you think. Start following the action as soon as it begins (since you are causing the action, you can actually anticipate this) and follow it as it happens. Just before you want to shoot the picture, begin pressing the shutter release (don't punch it, just press). You should then get it just right. This sounds a lot easier than it is. You will need to practice.

Regarding your second question, it depends on a lot of things. Are you using flash? If so, the shutter speed is not all that important. Just set it to the maximum sync. speed your camera allows. The flash will stop the action. If you are not using flash, you will need a LOT of light and a very fast lens (big aperature) because you will need a shutter speed of 1/125 or above, depending on the amount of the action. You will probably need to go to at least 1/250. Rely on your meter and see what it says. You may be out of luck without a lot of light or pushing the film.

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5/24/2005 1:00:00 PM

Noelle    "Just set it to the maximum sync." What does this mean? I have a NIKON 6006, with 35-70 Zoom Nikor Lens and built in flash. Also when you say check your meter, do you mean hand held or the analog in side the viewfinder?
Well I got the shots back and they were dark....I did use 1/125 and 1/250 with a LARGE aperature f/8, f/4 and still dark...what happened.
As far as the freezing of motion, yes I guess it is a timing thing...
Do your know anything about REAR sync curtain? Does anyone?

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5/24/2005 1:07:22 PM

Kerry L. Walker   Maximum sync is the fastest shutter speed at which the flash will sync. With a dedicated flash attached, the camera will probably set that for you. I am not familiar with your camera but maximum sync speed is probably either 1/60 or 1/125. As far as the meter is concerned, either a hand held or the meter in the camera will be fine. By a large aperature, I mean a much larger aperature than your zoom porbably has. f/8 is a medium aperature and f/4 is not much faster. I was thinking along the lines of f/1.4. Probably your best bet for shooting without a flash is to get some Kodak T-Max P3200 film, which is a fast film and can be pushed to a very high ISO (with a lot of associated grain). You probably wouldn't even have to push it.
Rear curtain sync. will not help with what you are working on here. That is more of an issue when shooting moving lighted subjects. When syncing with the front curtain, the light trails will be in front of the subject. With rear curtain sync., the light trails will be behind the subject.

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5/24/2005 1:45:12 PM

Noelle    Hi I was shooting with my built in flash, and I do not have the capability with my camera to stop down to f1.4 - f4 is my lowest option. Why do they say that you can take photos at night with ISO 400....if it still doesnt allow for enuf light? I seem to be trying everything manually to make it happen but, still dark.
Thanks for the rear curtain and front curtain info, cant wait to practice that.

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5/24/2005 2:00:09 PM

Kerry L. Walker   Your built-in flash doesn't have a lot of power so you will have to be close to the action for it to do any good. An accessory flash would help a lot. Yes, you can shoot at night with ISO 400 film, IF you use a tripod and the subject is very still. General statements like "you can take photos at night with ISO 400" are a real pain because they don't give enough info along with that statement. Trust the meter in your camera more than blanket statements. It will tell you what you can do. While I love to shoot in manual mode, I don't recommend it until you are very familiar with your camera and have a reason to override the camera's suggestions. Try some faster film. Even if you can get enough light at night (assuming there is a lot of ambient light), you will get a greater depth of field by using a higher ISO film because you can use a smaller f/stop.

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5/24/2005 2:14:09 PM

Noelle    My project was MOTION/BLUR - so I think I did a mediocre job...but will keep trying.
Kerry, you are amazingly helpful....learned more here than I do in my basic photo class it seems:)
Thanks a million
I am sure I will be back with more questions soon.

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5/24/2005 2:20:04 PM

Kerry L. Walker   Now you have given me a bit more information. If you want to capture that motion with a blur at the pool, set your camera on a tripod, set the camera to AV autoexposure, the f/stop to f/4 and let the shutter fall where it may. Shoot again at f/5.6 and f/8. You will get more blur each time. Things that are still will reamin in sharp focus and things that move will blur. Glad I could be of a little help.

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5/24/2005 2:26:54 PM

Noelle    This is when the phone comes in handy or face to face. I was shooting with a tripod for both the freeze and the blur result. shots seemed to read right on my analog...still 4 shots came out super dark. So, again being a newbie, I need to ask : how do I set the camera to AV AUTOEXPOSURE?

I tried using SHUTTER PRIORITY, but it didnt seem to matter, now that I have results. Stronger flash accessory a must though.

In ShutterPriority do I unlock the aperture ring? And do I set the option for fillflash, the little guy with the sun in the window setting?

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5/24/2005 2:37:38 PM

Kerry L. Walker   AV is just a different way of saying aperature priority autoexposure (AP). Flash will help a ton with the freeze effect but will kill the blur as the flash will stop the action. The reason the photos came out dark in shutter priority (SP) is because your aperature will only open so much. If you switch to AP, the shutter will open as long as necessary - subject to the limitations of your camera. I'm sure it will give you plenty of time though.

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5/24/2005 2:44:46 PM

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