Shutter Speed

Tripod Shot




Freeze frame



















Shutter Speed


  • Photographs are made by capturing a quantity of light over a period of time. Usually the time period is so quick that images do not blur and the audience never notices that the photo was of a period of time. However with a camera we have the ability to slow that time down so that the audience can see that the photo recorded a period of time.


  • The goal of this project is to create movement photos.

    1. Learn how to change the shutter speed on a camera .
    2. Learn what shutter speeds do to an image.
    3. Using a tripod is a must for photo #1 of this project


1) Content

Your photographs must have a sense of movement.

Photo #1 - Blur: The subject (person) moving/blur. This is done by having the camera on a tripod and using a slow shutter speed. Try 1/30, 1/15, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, or 1/2.

Photo #2 - Pan: The second image must be of the subject in focus and not blurred but the background blurred. This is done by panning the camera on a moving person. Try 1/30, 1/15, 1/10, or 1/8.

Photo #3 - Frozen: The third image is of frozen movement. This is done with a very fast shutter speed. 1/500 or faster is best. You will need a lot of light. This photo would work best taken outside. Your subject should be moving fast - running, jumping, twlrling, kicking, catching, etc.

2) Skills / Technical


  1. How to use a Tripod
  2. How to set shutter speed.
  3. How to use natural lighting more effectively.
  4. How to take pictures without a flash. The camera flash could be a problem, so it may be necessary to turn the flash off.

3) Elements and Principles of Design

This project we will be focusing in on two principles of design, Perspective and Balance.

Perspective is created by the location of the photographer. We can change our persective by looking up or down, getting down low or up high, or by choosing between outside and inside.

Balance is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture, and  space. If the design was a scale these elements should be balanced to make  a design feel stable.

4) Creativity / Originality - 30 points

Look at the project with fresh eyes. Try to be innovative with your subject matter, point of view and composition. A thoughtful and careful approach to your imagery will assist you in considering different options. The criteria for this project is set up to allow you to experiment with imagery. You will need to think different in order to push this project to its fullest.

5) Professionalism

Professionalism is based on the attention paid to the accurate and careful presentation of the final project.

This project will be handed in as follows

  • 3 properly named photos submitted to the "Shutter Speed" folder on the server. Size = 8" X 10" / 180 dpi
  • you must NOT over-manipulate the images
  • Images must have a black and white frame

Proper naming:

  • PrenskyR_blur.jpg
  • PrenskyR_pan.jpg
  • PrenskyR_frozen.jpg

6) Journal Entry

This journal entry requires you to record important details about each picture that you took. Answer the following in your journal for each picture:


Note: For white iMacs - use Command-i in iPhoto to get the following info. For MacBooks and silver iMacs - Option-Command-i


Shutter Speed:


E and P of Design: Which Elements and Principles of Design are present in your image?  Explain.

Creativity / Originality: What are some of the creative aspects of this photo? Two sentences.

Self-Evaluation: What mark do you deserve out of 10 and why?