I’ve been experimenting with using faster shutter speeds.
I usually kept my camera on Aperture Priority mode. Then I thought I’d experiment with Shutter Priority set to 1/200 sec. After my visit to Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, it became apparent that 1/2000 wasn’t always fast enough.
Here is a grasshopper that I focused on in Shutter Priority mode at 1/2000 sec.
I kept taking shots because I didn’t trust my reaction time. Suddenly I realized the grasshopper was gone. It must have jumped and I didn’t even see it. Yes, that fast.
Later at home, I reviewed the pictures. Many pictures basically the same as the one above. And then, this:
At first, I thought I had missed the jump. But, then I realized that I had caught the grasshopper jumping (the grasshopper’s shadow on the ground was what we call “an FBI clue”) but my shutter speed was too slow.
I increased my shutter speed to 1/3200 sec and alternated between that and Aperture Priority mode for the next several shoots.
When walking along the railroad tracks recently, I was taking pictures of a female Western Bluebird perched on a fence post and walking on the path. I was still warming up because I missed each time the Bluebird flew off the post. I didn’t think I had much until I got home and downloaded the pictures.
The Bluebird taking off from the ground was a happy surprise. Had I used a longer shutter speed, the wings would have been much more blurred.
I’m going to be experimenting more with shutter speed. I want to find out when faster isn’t better because right now, it is!