You can use lighting, movement and focus to create different
moods in a photo. Here are a few suggestions to achieve special
In some scenes, like waterfalls or rivers, we often want a
very crisp background, but allow the flowing water in the
picture to become blurred with a longer exposure. This will
convey the impression of movement.
To take this type of photo, move the Shutter Speed slider to
the left to allow for a slower photo (1/5 sec or slower, a
tripod or a stable surface is typically required), while moving
the Depth-of-Field slider to the right to ensure the entire
scene is in focus (f16 or higher). Use the ISO slider to ensure
that the photo is properly exposed. If the ISO and f-Stop
sliders are maxed out and the photo is still overexposed, a
camera filter can be used to cut down the incoming light.
By shooting moving subjects at high speeds we can uncover
details that our eyes are normally unable to capture. Use high
speeds (1/600s or higher) on subjects like falling water,
action sports, wildlife, etc. Since most cameras take too long
to auto-focus on these subjects, make sure you pre-focus the
camera using a different subject at the same distance and just
complete the shot at the right moment.
Most cameras automatically trade speed for depth of field,
though, so when selecting a high shutter speed make sure there
is still enough depth-of-field to guarantee that your subject
will be in focus. If the depth-of-field is too small, use a
higher ISO number to increase it.
To focus the viewer's attention on the subject of the photo
and avoid distractions in the background, use a low f-Stop
number. As you lower the f-Stop slider, watch the
depth-of-field range change and keep it as tight as possible to
ensure that only your subject remains in the range displayed.
Remember that normally about a third of the range will be in
front of the point where you focus and two-thirds behind it.
When shooting indoors, most cameras will automatically try to
use the flash. Although appropriate for some settings, in many
cases using a flash is intrusive and takes away from the mood
of the moment. It also makes the color tones of the photo much
Using a high ISO number (400 or even higher) and a low f-Stop
setting, you can normally achieve decent shutter speeds even in
low light conditions. Remember to take many pictures so you can
capture the right moments!