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Hi Everyone! it’s time for a new photo competition from us. And the theme for July is “Shutter Speeds“!

Timing is crucial in photography. As I am sure you remember, in camera we control time by selecting appropriate speeds. “Shutter speed” is the length of time your camera shutter is open, exposing light onto the camera sensor.

On the technical side, the shutter speed will affect your exposure. “Slow” shutter speed will allow more light in – making your image brighter, and “fast” shutter speed will let in less light – thus your image will be darker.

But there is also a creative side! And that’s what we want to see in your pictures! By controlling the shutter speeds, we can either freeze action (by selecting fast speeds) or blur motion (slow speeds).

Hope you remember the exercises that we did here at the studios – umbrella and 1/100sec – neither frozen nor blurry, then we tried 1/160, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400 and finally we could freeze the spinning umbrella. Next, we tried to slow down and get some creative motion blur with 1/40, 1/25, 1/15, 1/8… more light, lower ISO, and more blur.

And if you attended our Intensive Beginners photography course you had a chance to practice very fast speeds and freeze the exploding water balloons. We started with 1/500sec and moved quickly to even faster speeds to “freeze” that water drops at 1/1250sec and 1/2000.

You are the artist – you choose your subject – possibilities are endless!

If you are looking for some extra inspiration, scroll down and check out at our dedicated Pinterest board.

Below I also included some of my pics and the techniques/settings I used to shoot them.

Panning – Take a picture of a moving subject while panning your camera along with the subject. The important thing to remember is that the speed at which you are panning the camera should match with the speed at which the subject is passing by your frame.

Pics below – I usually experiment with speeds between 1/2 to 1/30, depending on how fast is the subject moving, and how much blur do I want in my pictures.

Here are two similar pics, but this time I am moving with my subject, the background is changing – and is blurry.

First picture was shot at 1/15sec and I did not get a lot of motion blur, second pic was shot at 1/5sec – longer time > more blur.

Simliar time 1/10sec, to blur the train.

Night photography – Shutter speed: 25sec (to avoid star trails). As some of you already know, I pushed the time to 30sec to give myself a little bit more light – instead of shooting on higher ISO.

Fireworks – generally I shoot between 3-8 seconds, tripod is a must, and manual focus.

A bit of a play with lights and motion blur – I am literally just walking with my camera 1/5sec.

Below is a similar time, 1/5sec – but here I wanted to get some creative blur from the moving buses.

Zoom burst effect – zoom the lens (in or out) while the image is being taken. Below two pics with time = 1sec, I am using a tripod to get clear lines, you can also try the same thing handheld.

Or instead of going for a slow time – we can use fast speed to freeze motion. Here 1/640 was enough to get this bird in flight.

But to freeze my Misty playing on a beach I used 1/4000 sec. I could probably get away with 1/2000 sec, but there was just so much light that I had to use such a fast speed to get the exposure right.

And here is preview of a Pinterest board with more pics to inspire you. Click on the link or the board to see more pictures.

Need for Speed - photography competition

Remember that the winner will receive £50 in course vouchers. We’ll choose and publish a selection of our favourite images.

We are looking forward to seeing your entries!!!

It is easy to enter, and the competition is open to everyone. Entry closes on 31st July 2019.

Your pictures should be saved as jpg files and not bigger than 3MB. Remember to name your files e.g. katesmith1.jpg

Please email your best pictures (3 max) to [email protected]

We will notify the winners on 15th August 2019.

Terms and Conditions

  1. All images submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them and not in breach of any copyright.
  2. Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, you give permission to DSLR Photography Courses to feature your images in any of their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition.
  3. Only 3 images per person are allowed.
  4. The images should be in JPEG format and not bigger than 3MB, with the resolution not smaller than 150dpi. Entries must be labelled with the entrant’s name.
  5. Images should be emailed to [email protected]
  6. The judges’ decision is final.
  7. The winner will be notified within seven days of the closing date of the competition via email and announced on DSLR Photography Courses website and social media.
  8. The prize vouchers will be valid for 12 months, and there are no cash alternatives. The voucher can be used for half a day courses and workshops to the value of the voucher, as well as a part payment for any other full day or specialised courses we offer of a higher value.
  9. Only three images per person will be accepted per month, and each image can be entered only once and not be used for the future competitions.
  10. DSLR Photography Courses reserves the right to disqualify any entry which breaches any of the competition rules.
  11. Any personal details of the competitors will be used only for the administering purposes and not published or provided to third parties. DSLR Photography Courses reserves the right to publish the winner’s name on their website and media sites and publications.
  12. Any late or corrupted files won’t be accepted.
  13. Promoter: DSLR Photography Courses, Wimbledon Art Studios, 10 Riverside Road, London SW17 0BB.
Roland Pokrywka

Professional photographer passionate about capturing the beauty of nature, landscapes, and travel —