XDrive Photo Lesson 19 – High Speed Photography

This is my submission for XDrive Photo Lesson 19 – High Speed Photography.

The first problem I ran into was that all photos were underexposed. Raj did mention this potential problem, but I thought our kitchen was quite bright on that day, so I was surprised. I did get a couple of “workable” photos, but as soon as I brightened them, the noise became unbearable. (I really don’t like noise!)

I need light, I thought to myself. I tried house flash light first, and it didn’t help too much. Speedlight or on-camera flash worked! Problem solved, I thought. However, when I checked EXIF data, they all said shutter-speed 1/200. Would Raj consider 1/200 high-speed?

I set shutter-speed to 1000 and tried again. As soon as I pressed the shutter release button, it switched back to 200. I knew that was the flash-sync-speed set in the camera, but how do I get over that sync speed?

I changed camera setting here and there, but just couldn’t make it work. I was about to give up, thinking maybe I could submit some outdoor photos. What happened next, I honestly can’t remember. All I can say is that somehow I saw a video called, “Beginners Guide to High Speed Sync Flash Photography”. OMG, there is a way to go above the flash sync speed! Now, I am excited!

The first 3 photos were indoor photos; a speed light was used. I am really cut down my photo size (See Cee’s comment in my previous post if you are interested.) Please let me know if you have any problem with these photos.


(F/2.8 1/2000 Sec., ISO-800, 105 mm) I purposely set it to F2.8 because I wanted to focus on the water drop only.


(F/5, 1/2000 Sec. , ISO-800, 105 mm)


(F/5, 1/2000 Sec. , ISO-800, 105 mm) I swirled the wine glass to keep the small golf ball rolling around, and took the photo. (I guess you have to take my words for this! 😉

The next 3 photos were outdoor photos. The first two were drive-by shooting (in Shutter speed mode) – our car was going 70 miles per hour.


(F/5.6, 1/1000 Sec., ISO-200, 116 mm) I set the speed to 1/1000 Sec., because it was getting dark and I wasn’t sure if any faster speed would work. In fact, I wasn’t sure this speed would work either.


(F/3.5, 1/1000 Sec., ISO-400, 28 mm)


(F/10, 1/2000 Sec., ISO-800, 52 mm)

Thank you, Raj, for another great lesson.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
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42 Responses to XDrive Photo Lesson 19 – High Speed Photography

  1. Jim says:

    it’s amazing how you could get her hair to stand up like that. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Jim. It’s not me, it’s our cold weather 😉
      I asked her to flip back her hair and use a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion. It took several tries 😉
      Have a great evening. At least we have a couple of warm days now.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Jim says:

        I get how difficult it is to get a capture like that. I’ve set my camera to high speed continuous shooting mode trying to capture the birds and they fly into my feeders. you end up taking a couple hundred shots just to find one or two worth keeping.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. loisajay says:

    Helen–you go to the head of the class! I love (love!) that last shot. That is amazing. I think, after this last lesson, Raj is going to send me to the principal’s office. 🙂 You are a very good student. I need to play around with my camera more. How long did you have to wait to get the faucet to drip like that? That is a wonderful photo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Lois. You sure have a way to make people (me) happy 😉 Well, the last photo — I saw a photo like that and the photographer told me he asked the model to flip back her hair… The right timing is part of the game. We tried 3 or 4 times today even though I used continuous shooting.
      The faucet one — I probably took 100 of them. After I learned the “high speed sync flash”, it became easier.
      I saw your post when I was in the middle of writing mine. Did you hear me shouting “Yeah!”? 😉
      Good night.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    Amazing picture of the hair!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have been practicing high speed photographing by taking skiing / snowboarding. I selected sunny day so that I could get a very good light, I manually set up ISO 100 (or no higher than 200), exposure 7.1, and shutter speed 1/2000. Maybe I will try to take some indoor photos later like water drops, etc.. BTW, where did you find the model to take the picture of flying hair? Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Yan, I like your skiing/snowboarding photos; I told you that, didn’t I? 😉 Recently I took a lot of photos inside of the house. To be honest with you, I didn’t know I would like it this much 😉
      My model lives next door. We have good neighbors. I took many photos of them.
      Good night.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mabel Kwong says:

    Like the others said, that hair flip last shot is Wow. Well done with the fast shutter speed and great timing with the click. I like Yan’s idea of shooting with light outdoors and the settings – I also set my camera to settings along those lines when I want to capture a lot of detail and don’t want blur in my shots. When I capture animals or birds moving I like to use high shutter speed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Mabel. I haven’t seriously tried to capture animals or birds moving yet. Do you use 400 to 600 mm lens? My husband and I had a discussion on this; my conclusion was that I still have so much to learn on photographing landscape and people, so I would wait a couple years before moving on to the next subject ;-). I do enjoy seeing those photos though.
      Have a great day.

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        For the last year, I’ve been using my Canon G7X II…it doesn’t have a detachable lens 🙂 When I was using my Fuji X-E1 some years ago, I used the 18-55mm lens. I always liked photographing different subjects because it never gets boring, lol. Good luck with your focus, and you are getting a lot of reflective feedback on here 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Raj says:

    Nice to see your contribution, Helen. Yes, high-speed sync is the answer to your issue when you consider the flash photography beyond the shutter speed allowed by your camera.

    Pic 1: Yes you are able to get a sharp focus and the frozen water drop in mid-air. The settings seem just fine. But to make the overall pic story complete you could have shown the glass collecting the water with some splashes?

    Pic 2: This is the great shot as the complete water splash captured sharply. Even the ripples on the water surface are in the visible. But if you see there is a bright spot on the water surface which is a distraction. Think about using off camera flash from the opposite direction. Or have a continually artificial light illuminating the water from the opposite direction. That way your water surface would be reflecting the light and all water contours will be displayed beautifully.

    Pic 3: Yes you are able to freeze the moment, but the picture does not tell the story. Probably you could have dropped the ball into the water and could have captured the impact?

    Pic 4 and 5: Yes, these are high-speed shot. Whenever the camera is moving you are forced to use faster shutter speeds. But end user will not be able to see the moving shot here unless there is some motion blur in the foreground. Pic 3 has also the same issue. Basically, when we do high-speed photography the viewer has to realize the effect out of it.

    Pic 6: Nice try to freeze the motion and done well. But since our subject is the girl and the hair aperture could have been around f4. Also cutting off of the top part of the hair could have been avoided with portrait format shoot.

    This feedback is part of XDrive’s photography learning sessions. Thank you for your experimentation and the post. I will help a lot of us here.
    Raj

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      I am happy to read your critique. You have lots of good points and I appreciate every one of them.
      I laughed a couple of times. There are so many details that we should pay attention to. Every time I manage to remember one; I missed the other 9. Maybe by keep practicing, eventually, I will be able to remember 2, 3… That’s why critique is very helpful.

      Pic 1: I see what you mean, but I think we may have different kind of stories in our minds. I believe you are thinking of a short story, but I was thinking of a flash story. 😉 Adding a glass, I feel, would create a little distraction for the story I wanted to tell.

      With that said, I would like to make a point about critiquing. Even though I may not agree with all the feedback I have received, each feedback helps because it makes me think deeper. I appreciate all of them.

      Pic 2: I like your suggestions a lot and I am thinking hard how to execute, since there is not much room behind the sink. Still thinking… 😉

      Pic 3,4,5: I feel lame that I had to add notes indicating they were indeed high speed photographing. On the other hand, it’s good to point out that high speed photographing can be used even when subject is not moving, which I almost forgot.
      Before this lesson, I had probably taken 3 or 4 high speed photos (now 300 ;-). Shutter speed 1/1000, or 1/1600 is difficult for me to comprehend. About a year ago, I started taking notes on shutter speed my bird photographer friends use, but I haven’t had a chance to try any. Anyway, taking these photos is my way of trying to get a feeling of high speed photographing. What does 1/1000 do? When to move up to 1/1600? I do feel more comfortable now 😉

      BTW, I was attracted by the light in Pic 4.

      Pic 6: another good point!

      Thanks again. The lesson is not completed until we receive your critique 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Helen C says:

        Forgot to say… pic 3,4,5 — I noted what you said, which made sense to me. High speed photographing is new for me. I am still trying to comprehend the basic part.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Raj says:

          Helen, read this comment from a blogger from Shutterbug’s post..about ISO. You might find it useful.
          https://digitaldiary101.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/xdrive-photography-learning-18-golden-hour/#comment-641

          Liked by 1 person

          • Helen C says:

            Thanks, Raj. I agree that it’s better to have a photo with noise than no photo at all. I usually don’t use auto-iso, because if I use high-iso, I want it to be a conscious decision; I don’t want it to be a surprise from auto-iso. If I remember right, you said you set max-iso to 800 (for auto-iso)? I think that is a good idea, since 800 shouldn’t cause a lot of noises.
            I have seen a photographer add noise in his post processing. I was shock, of course 😉 After seeing your comment, I tried that, and too my surprise, I kind of liking it (for that particular photo). I think the noise added by PS is a better looking noise — is that possible? 😉 Adding noise does create texture that may be needed by some photos. This is very interesting.
            Paz also said “never flash”. What’s your opinion on that? I don’t think I mind.
            (I didn’t know you can send a link to a comment! Cool. Learned another thing from you today…)
            Moving on to the next comment.

            Like

      • Raj says:

        Yes, Helen, my comments always have two parts, part one what is good and part two how further it can be improved (my opinion). We all know that there is always a way for improvement. Also keep it in mind that, you don’t have to agree with me at all. The only thing required is to visualize what I meant in my critique. Because as you said we all have different stories in our mind and finally it’s you who is pulling the trigger. As a photographer, we should be able to see things through other’s eyes. 😊 Which you are doing which is a great thing!

        Pic 2: Try to move the sink! 😀 I mean why not create the sink setup somewhere you have enough space. But you might need a helper to pour water! 😊

        Pic 4: Has a beautiful light spread across, mostly like a golden hour light.
        Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helen C says:

          Again, thank you, Raj. Your comment always makes me think, that’s for sure. 😉
          I was thinking today that this (Pic 1) was probably the first time I knew what I wanted for the photo and I was able to get exactly what I wanted. Suddenly, I realized how much I have benefited from your lessons! Thank you!
          Pic 2 — I choose the sink because I didn’t want to clean up the mess. Ha.
          Pic 4 — it was during golden hour. 😉
          Thanks again. Have a great day.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Amy says:

    The water drops are beautifully captured, especially the second one. The last one is amazing! Did you have to click a few times?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Good afternoon, Amy. This is kind of my first try for high speed photographing. Every one of them took many tries 😉 But I was getting better for sure. The last one probably 4 tries.
      Have a great day.

      Like

  8. Pingback: XDrive Photography Learning – 19 -High-Speed Photography. – XDrive

  9. Leya says:

    Fun, fun and instructive. I believe you did very well!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Rupali says:

    Wonderful illustrations.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: XDrive Photo Lesson 19 – High Speed Photography — HHC Blog | Social Network of Artistic Photographers

  12. Wonderful! Looks like lots of fun Helen .. I wish I could do that with my hair 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Julie. I think you can 😉 If not at this time, let your hair grow a little longer.
      I really like your photos. They go along with your story very well. I still see them in my head.
      Have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hey Helen .. glad you see them 😃 And a great day to you

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think the fast speed setting worked in your favor🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks again. Since I am not as brave as you are (otherwise, I would love to adventure like you; I do like it in my heart), my adventure is limited to try new things with my camera.
      Still, I have to say, you are inspiring. Maybe we will try the cabins in the park. Ha.
      Have a great day.

      Like

  15. shutterbug says:

    I always enjoy seeing your creativity shine, Helen. These photos are great! I especially like the last one and the faucet dripping. Very creative!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Kelly. I always enjoy seeing what you come up with. Many times, if not all the times, I have that “I should try that” feeling when I see your photos 😉 You help me learn.
      Have a wonderful day.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. shutterbug says:

    awwh thanks Helen! Hope you have a great day too 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  17. kutukamus says:

    Especially love that last image.. What a good time she had 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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