Photo a week – week 2


This little exercise is turning out to be much harder than I thought and it’s only my second week! But lets just plod on and see where we get to.

Buddy is the star of the show again.


Canon 550D, 17-40mm L series lens, aperture – f4, shutter speed – 1/400, ISO – 800.

Okay. So much wrong with this one. But I’m sharing because I want to learn and I think writing all my thoughts down about what’s not right with this photo might help me do that….. so here goes.

What was my reason for this shot? Buddy was going cracker-dog crazy in the garden and I wanted to record that fun. Also I was loving the frost.

Factors to bear in mind – I am trying to capture a fast moving subject. It was a bright sunny day but not where we were in the garden and it is January so the light isn’t great.

I know that to get a sharp image where there is a moving target I need a fast shutter speed. But a fast shutter speed means less light coming into the camera and I know it’s January so the  light is poor. To compensate for that I put the ISO to 800. But it wasn’t enough and the fastest I got a decent exposure only let me get the shutter speed to 400, when for a clean image of Buddy running it probably should have been 1000 or more? The upshot of that is that he is blurry because the shutter speed was too slow and therefore I caught his movement instead of freezing the action.

Composition – It isn’t bad. By standing to the side of him I capture the idea of his movement and get the garden in the background. And a great reminder of the frosty day. But I would probably get rid of the houses in the background and focus the picture on just Bud and his running madness.

On reflection then should I have bothered trying to get such a tricky photo? This is such a personal thing to answer. Most professional photographers wouldn’t have even picked up the camera with conditions like I had. (Unless they used a tripod, which I do not if I can help it.)

Lots of professionals will, of course, only want the perfect image. I’m not 100% about the perfect though. I am about capturing true and real images from our life and telling stories about them. Sometimes the only way to capture a story is though a less than perfect picture and I am totally okay with that. But for this exercise alone then I probably should have left the camera inside.

And finally a word on the new lens. I need to use it more to get a handle on what it will and won’t do. It’s a zoom so a different beast than the 50mm. One thing I have learned though, is that its blurry at shutter speed f60 which the 50mm is not. So onward to find more subjects to capture and practice, practice, practice.