Waves and Shutter Speed

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Sadie the dog and I headed to St. Simons Island this week for an annual family vacation with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and adorable niece and nephew. Being at the beach gave me a great chance to practice with different shutter speeds, so I went out one morning with my zoom lens and took picture after picture of the waves as they crashed into the shore.

My understanding of shutter speed is that faster speeds freeze motion in great detail, so if your goal is to freeze an action-packed moment in time you want a high shutter speed. By contrast, slower shutter speeds tend to accentuate the actual motion because they create a blur for anything that is moving. When we looked at example photos in class, I found myself fascinated by the slower shutter speed photos, maybe because they seem to tell a story.

I took these photos at about 8:30 a.m. on a nice, sunny day.

Shutter speed: 1/60. I love the painterly feel of this photo.

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Shutter speed: 1/80

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Shutter speed: 1/250. Not sure why the light is so different in this photo.

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Shutter speed: 1/500. This shows the spray so much more clearly.

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Shutter speed: 1/800. I love the detail here. I wish I had gone even higher in shutter speed to see how much more precise the image could have been, but this was where I stopped.

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