Photography Time Exposers

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Experiment with Exposure Time

SUMMARY: Changing your digital camera’s exposure time may result in interesting photographs.

Your digital camera exposure time determines how long your digital camera takes to record its picture. On a well-lit day, exposure times can be very short because plenty of light is available to help record a photograph. At nighttime, exposure time can increase dramatically due to the near absence of light.

Although most digital cameras handle this adjustment automatically, you should learn how to adjust your exposure time by hand. Read your digital camera’s manual for instructions.

Why modify this digital camera setting? Experiments in exposure time can produce dramatic effects. For example:

1) Take a photograph of a roaring waterfall in a well-lit area and adjust your digital camera’s exposure speed to take pictures as quickly as possible. In great lighting, and with some modern digital cameras, you may be able to see the individual drops of water falling!

2) Likewise, slow your exposure speed to 1/10 of a second or thereabouts. Be sure to hold your digital camera steady, or use a tripod, to avoid camera shake. That waterfall will now look like a stream of water flowing down.

Try adjusting your digital camera’s exposure time when recording pool balls, automobiles, or other fast-moving subjects for interesting effects.