flags

Hey guys, what does a good beer, a ski resort, & flags in the background have in common? Stick around and find out.

Highlights from this video:
0:44 Tutorial on Shutter Speed
0:49 Images shot with varying shutter speeds
2:50 Ideal shutter speed for moving flags
3:10 Capture movement with shutter speeds

Great Beer at the bottom of Thredbo Ski Resort

The answer to this question is that we were at the bottom of the ski resort having a beer and I noticed the flags flying with the wind and I thought, what is the best way to photograph these flags to show movement?

Shutter Speed

In this free tutorial, I’m going to talk about shutter speed and how you can show movement by just playing with the shutter speed a little bit. 

First Image: 1/125 Sec 

The first shot of this flag, I photographed it at 1/125 sec. That’s quite a fast shutter speed. You’ll notice that the flag is very still; it looks like it’s frozen in time. There’s no real movement there. 

Second Image: 1/60 sec reduced shutter speed

To show more movement, I reduced the shutter speed to 1/60 sec. That’s half the shutter speed of the first image.  You’ll notice that we’re starting to see a little bit of blurring at the edge, but the flag is still a little bit sharp as well as the background.

Third Image: 1/30 sec

I went a little bit lower at 1/30 sec and now the flag is starting to show some movement. It’s fluttering in the wind and it’s got blurring, but you can still see the Canadian flag and the background is just awesome

Fourth Image: 1/15 sec

This one is at 1/15 sec and now you’ll notice that the flag has quite a lot of movement. There’s quite a lot of blurring. I like this shot because the background is still sharp, the flagpole is pretty sharp, but the flag is definitely moving. This is a much more interesting image than the first one

Fifth Image: 1/8 sec

Let’s go down to 1/8 sec . You’ll notice that there’s a lot of ghosting and blurring on the end of this flag as it gets blown by the wind. The background is starting to get a little more blurred because I was hand-holding the camera (no tripod). At this speed, you get some movement from breathing and hand-holding the camera. But you can still see the Canadian flag beautifully blown in the wind.

Sixth Image: 1/4 sec

Let’s go even slower than that. Now, you’ll notice that the background and the building over there is quite blurred. I’m battling to hold this lens still. I probably should’ve used a tripod. But you can see that we’re getting a lot of movement there

Best Shutter Speed for Moving Flags

Probably, 1/15 sec is the best shot I’ve got where it’s showing the flag movement but the background is awesomely sharp. That’s one way of capturing movement using shutter speed or shutter priority of your camera. The images above are taken with my Canon EOS 60D. That’s a consumer-grade SLR camera.

Photography Tip

So here’s a good tutorial. If you see something moving and you want to make the image more dynamic, play around with your shutter speed and go from a really fast shutter speed to a really slow one, and have a look at how your images change.

For your questions, just leave them down on the comments section below and I’ll answer them for you.

This tutorial is part of my Art of Travel Photography Series. There are another 30 videos similar to this, check it out.

Brent here, have a great day!

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