Tip of the Day – Shutter speed minimum

Tip of the Day – Shutter speed minimum

When photographing dogs in action, a fast shutter speed is absolutely essential to capture the movement sharply. But exactly how fast does it need to be? How fast is fast enough?

As a general rule, when the dog is running straight towards me (just like Niku here, in the midst of crazy zoomies!) I never usually go below 1/1000 second. If I can set the shutter speed higher without sacrificing the image quality, I usually do.

In this case, I knew Niku would be running through water and I wanted to freeze the water droplets sharply as well. To do this, an even faster shutter speed is required. I start at 1/1600 second whenever there’s water involved. If I review the image and see movement in the water droplets, I’ll try to increase that even more.

If you’re photographing a dog running across in front of you instead – so across the frame from left to right or vice versa – even if you’re panning you’ll probably need to increase the shutter speed even higher than 1/1000 second to keep the background sharp. Of course, a sharp subject and a blurry background can look pretty cool in these sorts of shots as well!

Newsflash! In March 2018, I entered this image in the AIPP Epson Queensland Professional Photography Awards where it scored a Silver Distinction with 89 points – that’s just one point shy of a Gold Award! This image, along with my three other entries in the Pet/Animal category, resulted in me being awarded 2018 AIPP Queensland Epson Pet/Animal Photographer of the Year. You can see the other images and read more about this amazing achievement here.

I was so excited to see one (actually, two!) of my RealShoots images do so well – and best of all – you can watch the exact moment I captured this image as it unfolded – it’s all on camera in Episode 6 of RealShoots

Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, Canon EF 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L IS II @ 125mm, ISO 1000, 1/1600 sec, ƒ/2.8

This daily tip is brought to you by Episode 6 of RealShoots – Niku by the Bay and is tip 6 from a 10 part series. To receive a new tip each day from this series direct to your email inbox, sign up below.

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