How to Take Still-Life Photographs Using Your Digital SLR
How to Take Group Portraits Using Your Digital SLR
Coordinating Your Digital Camera’s Flash and Shutter

Avoid Motion Blur in Macro and Close-Up Photography

The ability to freeze the action in a scene is important in macro and close-up photography. The slightest breeze can cause lightweight subjects such as flowers to sway in and out of your frame, and some subjects such as living creatures move quickly and spontaneously. Even handholding your camera can cause enough motion to blur your images.

The first step to ensuring your images have crisp and clear sharpness is using a fast shutter speed (such as 1/250 of a second). The faster your shutter speed, the less motion blur appears in your images.

Most digital cameras offer a shutter priority mode (symbolized either by a Tv or an S). In the shutter priority mode, you can select the shutter speed that’s most appropriate for your subject, while the camera automatically adjusts your aperture to expose a scene properly. This is ideal for situations with inconsistent lighting conditions in which you are dealing with movement and you wish to shoot quickly.

Your shutter speed plays a part in determining your overall exposure along with aperture and ISO, so the faster you set it, the less it contributes to the exposure. In lowlight situations, an extremely fast shutter speed may cause issues. In some cases you may need to slow down your shutter to capture a proper exposure.

If you find that a scene is too dim for the shutter speed you wish to use, you need to increase the level of light to get the shot. The most efficient tool for this job is the battery-operated flash. A flash is lightweight, easy to use, and a good size for most macro and close-up subjects.

A battery-operated flash can help freeze motion in an image. Not only does the flash emit enough light to capture an image with a fast shutter speed, but because the flash emits light for just a short instant, the image captured on your digital sensor represents that short instant, as well.

The maximum shutter speed at which a flash can be synced varies from camera to camera. Refer to your owner’s manual to learn the max sync speed of your camera.

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