Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photographing Minis: How much can Shutter Speed effect your lighting?

Okay, so while working on this series of articles about photographing my minis I took a lot of pics in one evening for the article specifically.  And, in my opinion, none of them were as good as the ones I usually take.  Which sucks because I really thought I had it figured out and could help point some people in the right direction.  My methods may still help you, but don't stick to exact parameters and expect same results.  I did my usual thing exactly, but the difference being at night instead of in front of a window during the day as normal.  Maybe this changed the way my lightbox works and the lack of light between lens and box or whatever.  So, I guess my point is, sometimes I make what I think are pretty good pics and other times mediocre pics while doing the same thing with only slight variations in room lighting.  I do the same thing almost every time with varying results every time.  This still puzzles me and I am gonna come up with a real system that works every time the same.  Until then, maybe this post will help with part of the puzzle.  

This post is gonna show how much changing only the shutter speed can change the picture dramatically.  Below are a series of pics that were all taken back to back changing only the shutter speed.  I will note in the captions, some have been edited and altered to a suitable state of posting, but are still not what I like to get. I will not get into the numbered settings of my shutter speed as the same speed can take entirely different pics in different lighting conditions.  My previous post shows some pics taken a while back using same methods that are much better in my opinion.

Taken with long shutter speed
Resized, cropped, lighting corrected version of above

Slightly shorter than above

Again slightly less than above

And another with less than above-getting closer

Resized, Cropped, Lighting corrected version of above-decent

Shorter still speed than above

Resized, Cropped, Lighting corrected version of above-probably best of night, but still color is off

As shutter speed increases, light decreases more

And shorter still speed and lighting darkens significantly

Well, maybe this little segment on shutter speed effects will help you in your own search of taking the perfect mini pic.  I know I still have a lot to learn and will continue to look for new ways to be more consistent with taking better pics.

My next foray into better pics will involve working more with a macro function, but with manual settings.  If this helps then I am gonna try to learn more about white balance settings and see if this will help even more.


  1. Changing the shutter speed only effects one half of how you're taking a picture. The other half is the aperture. It looks like you didn't adjust the aperture while you changed the shutter speed, which is why you got the results you did.

    The thing with aperture is that the larger (1.8/2/2.8) will result in a shorter depth of field, IE: there will be a smaller range of the image that is in focus. Try using an aperture of 5.6, and then adjust the shutter speed to something that looks about right. Some of my shots are 2 seconds long, depending on the light.

    One other thing that I do is to bracket my shots. So I'll take one that looks a little dark, on that about right and maybe one that looks a little light. That way when you get the images in your computer, the one that looked a little dark might be the best of the bunch, maybe not, but it gives you options.

    Macro. You need to be using it. It is much better at getting all the details that are there and works much better than just zooming in.

  2. Thanks for the input. I am not very familiar with photography and am only beginning to grasp some of the aspects of this other than "push the button". I plan on doing more testing and trying to get a setup that gives me consistent results every time. If I ever get to that point I will be very happy as my pics are different from session to session even if I do things the same.

    I will try what you're saying as I'm open to any suggestions I can get to make my pics more consistent and better quality.