Shutter Priority – Capturing Ghost people

If you’ve been to our Digital I – Beginner Photography Course then you will know that we don’t spend a lot of time covering Shutter Priority (this is the S or Tv mode on your camera). But we sometimes mention one great use for this mode: Ghosting ??…

Just a reminder, Shutter Priority allows you to control your shutter speed (the amount of time your sensor is exposed to light)  and your camera will adjust your aperture (the amount of light coming through your lens).

This is a really neat and very fun technique to try. Here’s how to capture a great ghosting shot:

  1. Wait until the sun starts to set. In the middle of the day there is far too much light for this effect to work.
  2. Select the “S” or “Tv” mode on your camera. S stands for Shutter Priority, and Tv (for Canon users) stands for Time Value.
  3. Set your ISO to 100, or, if you’re just starting out, set your ISO to Auto (generally you can find this in your Menu system).
  4. Use your scroll wheel to set your shutter speed to 1/2 of a second. This may look like 1/2 or 0.5″ or 0″5.
  5. Set up your shutter release, or turn on your 2 second timer. This is so that you eliminate any shake that you may cause when you press down on your shutter to take the photo.
  6. Set your camera down on a stable surface – in this shot we actually just used the table we were dining on, but a tripod is fantastic and better in so many ways.
  7. Take your photo and then adjust your shutter speed to be faster or slower depending on how your first shot looks.

**Remember that if your shutter speed is too long you won’t see the people walking by, but if your shutter speed is too short, you’ll totally freeze people as they go by. This is why we recommend starting at 0.5 seconds.**


Ok – now have fun and don’t forget to share your shots with us ?.

Want to learn more about the different modes on your camera? Join us in any of our awesome cities for our Digital I – Beginner Photography Course.



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