Monday, April 14, 2014

How to use manual mode - 2

Food Photography tutorials email me -
1- How to capture Steam in food photography
2- How to capture white objects on white.
3- Composition theory for food photography
4- How to shoot moody and intense images
5- Painting props for food photography
6- Personalized tutorials.

Shutter Speed  and  ISO 

I am way behind on posting an update on my 365 days challenge. I just have a lot  on my plate, most of my project are going on track but managing a time line for each is seriously not my forte. It’s funny how everyone works so differently, Despite having all the gadgets, I still write down all my to-dos for the week and track all my dead lines in my diary. Hubs just does not get my style of working, he insist that putting then down on an electronic format will reduce the time I spend on planning. I feel so insecure to not have it on paper. It’s working ! So, that’s all there is to it. ;) This is a post from some scribbles from my diary.

 We were talking about the basics of photography and decoding the manual setting on your camera in our pervious 365 days post.  To understand that we had to brush up or learn in some case the basics of all that there is to use the manual settings of our camera, so we can manipulate and use it to our advantage.

A quick re-cap…. there are 4 basic controls, that you need to know.

White Balance

Aperture : is the size of opening of the lens. That determines the amount of light that gets into the sensor…in other words the opening is more, more  light. We went in detail about aperture and DOF. Click here to read that

Moving on …..

Shutter Speed 

Shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open.

Shutter speed is calculated in fraction of seconds 1/4S, 1/30S, 1/1000S the bigger the denominator the faster it is. If the shutter is open for a longer amount of time you will get more light, however if it is open for less time you get less light. In other words, the faster the shutter: lesser the light. The slower the shutter: more light. BUT, the lower the shutter speed the more the hand shake is visible (image has a blur/shake).  For me anything below 1/60S, I need a tripod. 

Get your camera. Put it on manual setting. Keep the Aperture to F/4.0 and play with the shutter. 
Together with shutter speed (amount of time the shutter is open for light to come in)and aperture ( opening of the lens to allow the light to come in) you can really control the play of light.  Remember different combinations can create similar light but different mood, as we spoke about Depth of Field in our last post. 

 Shutter is a great tool to play around in action photography. Car racing, bikes, race tracks etc  However in food photography, if you want a image of maple syrup being poured on a stack of pan cakes it’s a great tool to use. Or if you want to capture water flowing over fresh fruits. Shutter speed can create quite the magic. At higher shutter speed you can almost freeze the movement of the maple syrup or water. On lower speed it can create a soft look. I think I can explain better with images. 

Here you go…

See the water almost froze in action at 1/1000Second whereas in 1/10 Sec it shows movement. This is perhaps the only application of shutter I can think of in food photography. However, shutter does play an important role in managing light. 
#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial

In digital photography ISO is the sensitivity of the image sensor. In a dark room, with very little light pumping up the ISO may be a good strategy to get some good light in to image. 
Lower ISO : Less sensitive to light : finer the grains
Higher ISO: More sensitive to light : grainy and noisier the image

If you want a razor sharp image, 100 ISO is the way to go. I have used a very high ISO on the image on the right, to show the graininess. You may never have to go that high, but sometimes ISO can be used to create an artistic impression. 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial ial

Now, that leaves us with WB (white balance) am going to work on that in my next post of 365. I have also got requests to do post on behind the scenes, specially the dark and moody photographs. Will try and put it together as soon as I can . 

Now for some images from March 
#SutterSpeedTutorial #PhtographyBasics #FoodPhtographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March16, 2014 - look at the DOF 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March17, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March18, 2014 the edge of the plate almost blends to the background, playing with aperture to create the shallow DOF.

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March19, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March20, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March21, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March22, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March23, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March24, 2014 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March25, 2015 : learning to capture on site 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March26, 2015 : learning to capture on site 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March 27, 2014 - I love sunset 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March28, 2014 - wine seller 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March29, 2014 playing with reflections 

#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March30, 2014 : monochromatic
#ShutterSpeedTutorial #PhotographyBasics #FoodPhotographyTutorial #ISOTutorial
March31. 2014 : My favorite from this set. Incandescent light.
Hope you enjoyed this post, please leave me a feedback, so I know am in the right direction.

To view the previous images from 365 days of photography…

February - 1 
February - 2
March-1  Print Friendly and PDF


  1. Beautiful clicks. thanks for the lessons.

  2. ohhhhh...this post was so much needed:) Thanks for taking the efforts:)
    I loved the winter shoes and sunset pic the most:)

  3. So beautiful clicks and well explained...

  4. A great post & beautiful shots!



  5. Simi, I absolutely love your photography! It's stunning. Hopefully eventually I will have a decent camera and can then start taking some of these pointers you are sharing to improve my stuff.

    And I totally hear you on keeping track of the "to-do's". Just last week, I seriously grabbed a yellow legal pad, and just started writing down everything because all my electronic calendaring just seems all over the place. Simple written lists still work!

  6. Simi - your photography is so stunning! Hopefully I will get a real camera soon and can then start applying some of these tips you are sharing. Keep it up!

    Also, totally hear ya on the to-do stuff. I seriously grabbed a yellow legal pad last week and furiously scratched down all of my stuff I need to do because my electronic calendaring just wasn't cutting it. Simple written-out lists still work!

  7. What a truly fantastic lesson! The photographs PERFECTLY explain the concepts. You are very gifted at teaching.

  8. Hi Simi, I want to congratulate you, the colors are so wonderful and the shots so sharp ... Can I ask you about the lens you use for food? Thank you, cheers


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