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Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-11-2004, 04:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Have heard the term "drag the shutter" several times. In my mind this means increase f/ to "drag" or slow the shutter for the same exposure? Benefits are what? Increased saturation? Would give a thicker DOF, could be good or bad, depending. Am I close, or blowing out my ars? George [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img]
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Re: Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-11-2004, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sort of, depending on your own personal understanding of the terms you used. I don't think Saturation is affected at all though, unless you use film in which case underexposing and over processing will do that (from what I hear).

As for thicker DOF, if you mean that instead of having from 5' to 20' be in focus you have from 2' to 3' in focus then yes, that would happen with a wider aperture, F3.2 as opposed to F11.

However, when they refer to dragging the Shutter they mean to have your F/Stop set so that you get a longer shutter speed of about 1/30 to 1/4 second in length. What this does is causes your image to blur slightly in a way that, to trained eyes, looks intentional. I know that Christian has done that a lot, maybe look at his portfolio for examples. There may be other features of the effect that may be desired in some instances but so far I have had no desire to nake blurry pictures.

Maybe that's why I am not yet an Artiste!
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Re: Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-11-2004, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Dave, Thanks! So, I guess I understood the mechanism, but did'nt understand the purpose, to soften the image. Take care, George
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Re: Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-11-2004, 06:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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George

I've always heard "drag the shutter" in reference to using a flash or a strobe. Let's say the typical 35mm SLR synchs with electronic flash at 1/125th of a second. The average shooter (myself included) would shoot at 1/125 of a second. However, setting the shutter to a slower speed -- up to a second if you want -- will provide two interesting opportunities. First, everything else in the image that is NOT lit directly by the flash will now get more light from ambient sources. Which can also give you a light temp mix if the ambient is incandecent. Second, the slow shutter speed will allow items not primarily illuminated by the flash to blur a bit. Another interesting feature. "Dragging the shutter" is related to a feature called "rear curtin flash" -- where the flash is set to fire at the END of the exposure. Again, with potentially fun results. You need to practice this stuff to understand what you get.

Remember -- the actual electronic flash is 1/2000 or 1/4000 of a second. The synch speed just allows the flash enough time to fire cleanly in between the time the shutter opens and closes. Have you ever set the camera on the wrong synch speed? I did and got 1/2 of each frame exposed! In flash photography it's the flash and aperature that expose the image -- with existing light it's the shutter speed and aperature. In flash photography (unless you're "dragging") the shutter only gets in the way!

Bob

Here's something shot outdoors in low light with a hand-held flash unit and a bit of a drag on the shutter...



Shot at 1/30 of a sec on a camera that synchs at 1/125
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Re: Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-11-2004, 07:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When you drag the shutter, you use a flash to light the subject. A long shutter speed causes the lens to stay open longer than the flash so light and motion are still recorded. The aperture only factors in for depth of field.

If the shutter speed is still relatively fast (i.e. 20th) you will mostly absorb color, which is handy if you're trying to keep color casts from stage lights. If the shutter speed is longer than you will also record motion. I use it sometimes to liven up band photos as in the example below, which was shot at 1/6th of a second.

http://www.pbase.com/image/25977444

It's also pretty cool when used with kids running around with sparklers since the strobe will light their faces and the long shutter catches the motion of the sparklers..

Later,
Israel
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Re: Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-11-2004, 08:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't misread Dave's reply. Blurred subject is but one "effect", which is best achieved when using a tripod, so part of the image is still tack sharp. Otherwise it just looks like camera shake. Another is the use of a slow SS to turn a waterfall or rapids into a continuous smooth flow. I recently made a number of images with a water spray behind models, and shot at slow SS to turn the droplets into lines of motion. Let alone the traditional flash use of the term as explained in the above replies. "Dragging the Shutter" basically means using a slower SS than would usually be indicated by shooting conditions to create a desired effect.

David
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Re: Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-12-2004, 12:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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To beat on this already pretty well explained topic. Basically you are setting your shutter speed to get an near or good exposure for ambient light and the apperature setting is used as the guide to get a proper power setting with the strobe to get the proper exposure.





These were shot at 1/4 a sec at f:11. I had a strobe on her and a hotlight on the wall behind her. I played with the exposure to get a nice rich yellow on the wall...which was 1/4 @ f:11 ( I wanted deep depth of field because she was moving and a slow shutter to show the movement.
I then set up the strobe to give me a good exposure at f:11 and gobo'd it to make sure the strobe didn't hit the wall....I didn't want the white light from the stobe killing off that nice rich yellow.

You can make these exposures with either the normal or rear sync but rear sync tends to look the best. It kind of empahsizes the motion direction.

Hope that makes sense.
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Re: 2 ways to look at it
Old 02-12-2004, 01:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think of "dragging the shutter" as only for intentionally getting blur, although that is a good reason. Sometimes if you have low ambient light, like a street scene or an interior, and need to light your subject with strobe, you could drag the shutter as stated to 1/15th second, simply to balance the light sources. You may want everything tack sharp, so you put the camera on a tripod.

In this wedding shot I wanted everything sharp, so I dragged the shutter to about 1/30 so the candles and fireplace would glow, and held the camera as steady as I could.


In the shot below, I was shooting a in niteclub, with very low ambient light, and built-in flash on the camera (with a slight warming gel over the flash). I recall setting the shutter speed at 1/4 so I could let the ambient "glow", but I also wanted a slow shutter speed to blurr the background to add some party atmosphere.


BTW, the model in the above shot is Rolando's buddy Carolina (this was from a couple years ago).

And RJ.... not all strobes have flash duration of 1/2000+. While on-camera stobes are fairly brief, my Normans can slow down to 1/350 of a second when powered all the way up, and if powered down, can be shorter.

Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: Explaination for a nummer!
Old 02-12-2004, 10:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks All!, I think I now have a idea how I might accomplish a series thats been running through my head, in and around a heavily shaded stream in the woods on my land at home. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] Take care all, George
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Re: 2 ways to look at it
Old 02-12-2004, 01:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Andy, was that club scene done digital or film? What ISO were you at for it?

Thanks.
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