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Shutter Exercises

Finding a subject that wasn’t running water needed a little thinking!  Shutter speeds need things to move to illustrate the functions ability to distort time.  A pendulum seemed a neat idea, ideally I would have liked a pocket watch, but couldnt find one!  Although the quality of the images isnt brilliant, the essence of speed is captured.  The slowest images, creating those cartoon-like blur lines often used with Wile-e Coyote.

The images range from 1/3rd sec to 1/1600 sec.  What seemed most difficult with this sequence was the many factors of speed coming into play.  The swing of the pendulum has a variable speed, fastest at it swings through equilibrium, slowest at maximum amplitude.  This resulted in varying success with an ever increasing shutter speed.  If the initial energy imparted to the pendulum differed (as enacted by an able assistant) the speed of the swing differed, if the shutter snapped at equilibrium or amplitude, this impacted the visual effect of a faster or slower shutter speed.

The two images at 1/60th sec clearly illustrate the effect of speed.  In the first image, where the velocity of the pendulum is slower, the image is much sharper.  The second image, with a faster swing, but same shutter speed gives a blurred image.

All things considered, choosing a constant velocity artefact would have produced a more accurate visual representation of the function of the camera shutter.  But as an exercise in understanding the nuances of capturing speed, of understanding timing, and the decisive moment: an interesting little project.

Categories: Exercises
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Posted by lostolmos on October 21, 2012

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