Stephen Carroll, a freelance photographer from Reston, Virginia, specializes in artwork for book covers, with more than 400 (mostly novels) to his credit. They’re not just any book covers, though. His genius lies in creating film noir-like scenes, complete with desperate lovers, soaked T-shirts, smoking […]
When should you use the Tv mode?
Av (Aperture Value or Aperture Priority) mode is great for shots in which you want to control the depth of field by selecting a particularly wide or narrow aperture setting, or want to select the ‘sweet spot’ of a lens – this is the aperture at which a lens delivers its best image quality, typically around f/8. Av mode is therefore well suited to portraiture and landscape shooting, but there are situations where it’s better to use Tv (Time Value or Shutter Priority) mode instead.
As its name suggests, Tv mode enables you to set the exposure time, or shutter speed. For example, you might want to set a very slow shutter speed of 30 secs to create light trails from moving vehicles at night, or several seconds to blur water as it cascades over a weir or waterfall. For panning shots of racing cars or motorcycles, a shutter speed of 1/60 sec to 1/125 sec works well, as this will enable you to capture motion blur in the background, especially when you’re using a long telephoto lens. At the other end of the scale, you may need a fast shutter speed of 1/1000 sec or higher to freeze the action in sports or wildlife photography.
In each of the above cases, the Program mode may well serve up a shutter speed and aperture combination that’s not ideal for the task. By switching to Tv mode, you can manually dial in exactly the shutter speed that you want to use, and the camera will adjust the aperture accordingly. One thing you need to watch out for, however, is that the shutter speed you set doesn’t require an aperture that’s wider or narrower than the lens is capable of in order to give a correct exposure. For example, let’s say you’re using an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, shooting outdoors on a gloomy day. If you were to set a fast shutter speed of 1/500 sec, even the widest apertures through the zoom range (f/3.5 to f/5.6) wouldn’t be enough to produce a correct exposure; instead you’d get a badly underexposed image. Keep a lookout for a blinking aperture display in the viewfinder, or on the camera’s rear LCD, which serves as a warning. A handy tip for low light situations is to select Auto ISO. This will bump up the camera’s sensitivity setting by just enough to enable a correct exposure within the lens’s aperture range, at higher shutter speeds. Even so, in very dull or indoor conditions, you may need to set a slower shutter speed in order to get a well exposed image.
For night shots, you will need to use extremely slow shutter speeds, keeping the shutter open for more than 30 seconds. This option isn’t available in the regular shooting modes, including Tv mode, so you’ll have to switch to Bulb mode instead. On some cameras, such as the 60D and 7D, Bulb mode is available as a separate shooting mode, selectable via the mode dial. In other cameras, you’ll need to set up Bulb exposures via the Manual shooting mode.
What shutter speed should you shoot?…
Setting your shutter speed to 30 seconds for night shots gives a sufficiently long exposure to make watery reflections mirror-smooth. Another bonus is that people walking around within the scene will blur into invisibility. You’ll need a sturdy tripod to eliminate the risk of camera shake.
A shutter speed of around 1/15 sec should enable you to capture sharp handheld, wide-angle shots of static indoor subjects, such as this museum exhibit, without the need to use a flashgun (which may not be allowed). You can stretch the exposure to about 1/4 sec if the lens features image stabilisation.
For moving subjects, you’ll need a fairly fast shutter speed in order to freeze the action. For this shot of a skydiver we’ve used a shutter speed of 1/500 sec, which is generally also fast enough to freeze the motion of people walking or running about, dancing or playing most sports.
For very fast and erratically moving objects, a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec or higher will be needed if you want to get everything in shot pin-sharp. Notice here how not only the boat is sharp, but also the tiny drops of spray thrown up from the water. You can use a slower speed if you’re panning to follow a subject.
This year at PhotoPlus we were lucky enough to be invited by Canon to London Fashion week to photograph the works of fashion designer Emilio De La Morena on the catwalk. Armed with the Canon EOS 1D X and the versatile Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L […]
So there I was in my socks, standing on a milk crate with a beautiful half-naked woman lying motionless on a painter’s tarp in the middle of by bedroom floor. If someone had walked in at that moment, I would have had some serious explaining […]
Do you ever see a picture and wonder how the photographer obtained perfect lighting on a subject? You might be asking “What kind of flash does he use?” or “What are the settings on his camera to get such lighting?” In this tutorial, I will […]
After many years as a keen amateur photographer, I decided to start a small landscape photography business called Lakescenes which I ran alongside my main job as an IT Manager. As business increased, I found myself working long, but rewarding, hours just to keep up […]
Rob Sheppard is a naturalist, nature photographer and videographer who says his favorite location is the one he is in at any time. He is the author/photographer of over 40 books, as well as a well-known speaker and workshop leader, and a Fellow with the […]
Gary Hart has photographed California’s natural beauty for over 30 years. Gary’s photos and writing have appeared in many publications, most recently Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Heritage magazines. You’ll also find his images in greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and many galleries and private collections throughout the world.
Originally from Poland, based in London UK, Jaroslav has background in Fine Arts, degree in Architecture, and wide array of experience. Being an Architect taught him how to be resourceful and to solve complex problems with simple, yet innovative solutions. Constant passion for graphic & […]
Tom Mangelsen has photographed wildlife from hummingbirds to elephants, but he has a special soft spot for bears. And he’s particularly fond of the grizzlies that roam Grand Teton National Park near his home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. “The more I see bears, the more […]
I’m in a mild state of shock today. I’ve recently read Watching the English by Kate Fox and discovered things about myself that I was better off not knowing. If you’ve not read the book it can be neatly summarised by the following: in terms […]