Lessons Learned: Shutter speed too slow

The following photo shows a Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly (Speyeria cybele) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is feeding on Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens). The flower is acceptably in focus; the butterfly is not. This indicates the blurry butterfly wasn’t caused by camera shake. In this case, the shutter speed was too slow to stop action as the butterfly took flight.


Tech Tips: I shot the photo using a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 superzoom camera in Program Mode with a focal length of 108mm (600mm, 35mm equivalent) for a subject distance of approximately four- to six feet. The camera selected the following settings automatically: ISO 100; an aperture of f/5.2; and a shutter speed of 1/250 second. I should have used “Program Shift” to select a combination of a faster shutter speed and appropriate aperture. I could have selected a higher ISO in order to enable me to use a faster shutter speed. (Experience has shown an ISO of up to 400 may be used without causing unacceptable noise levels.)

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

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