ND Filter in TV Mode

I rarely use filters in my photography, but there are times when you just can't get the shot you want without one. The other thing I hardly ever use is Shutter Priority also called Time Value mode. Two no go's in one shoot, that's also rare. This video blog is pretty special eh? So the big question, Why?

There's no one 'correct' way to shoot anything. In my experience you choose how to shoot because of what it is you're photographing. You use whatever mode or setting that are appropriate and will make life easy for the situation you're in. Photographing movement blur with a neutral density filter in fast changing light conditions in this case. You begin an image with the creative end in mind; asking yourself how you want it to be, what you want it to say and how you want it to look. The answers to these questions will tell you which camera settings and modes to use to make it so.

Obviously you have to know how to control your camera in the first place and how it works in order to exploit its capabilities. There are only a handful of settings you truly need and I can have you mastering them in 5 weeks if you complete (that means practising the exercises) my Masterclass in Photography. "Ultimate" because it's all you need to master the camera, understand light and composition and a whole bunch of other handy stuff.  

Where do you begin?


Let's take a closer look and consider what's happening. This is being mindful, aware, observant, present to your surroundings and what's happening. The facts.

  • Wind is gusting
  • There are more periods of stillness than movement
  • Light level is constantly changing

Pretty obvious right? It's amazing how many photographers don't notice these simple things and just start spraying and praying something will come out OK. 

Q: Does it look better sun in or sun out
A: Out. (That means lots of light)

Q: What shutter speed will blur movement
A: Depends on how much movement there is for a given gust of wind and how much blur you want. So you have to try it and see

Q: Even at lowest ISO and smallest aperture shutter's not slow enough without overexposing. How do I make it slower
A: Lost some light with a polarising or ND filter

Q: How do I calculate exposure quickly enough to keep up with changing light
A: Don't try, concentrate on shooting in time with light and wind - use shutter priority / TV mode, test different speeds for the movement you want and let the camera track changing light

Q: How do I brighten the images they look too dark
A: Tell the camera you want it brighter by adding exposure compensation

and so it goes on...

Try asking yourself these kind of questions next time you go out with your camera. Not just movement, anything. How do I want it to look? how do I want the light, depth of field, field of view, how bright or dark do I want it? You might discover you know more than you thought, it's just that you never truly tried to access it before. This kind of mental discipline can take effort to begin with. But the more you do it the easier it becomes until one day you don't even need to ask or think about it. You can just do it.

Go photographing alone so you don't get distracted or feel pressured to hurry up. Give yourself permission to take as long as it takes. When you slow down a bit and think it through, these questions pretty much answer themselves. If you truly can't find the answers in yourself, that tells you there are things you don't know yet and as I said above, I can help you with that if you want me to.

Be well until next time….

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