Exercise 3.1

Exercise 3.1

Using fast shutter speeds, try to isolate a frozen moment of time in a moving subject. Depending on the available light you may have to select a high ISO to avoid visible blur in the photograph. Try to find the beauty in a fragment of time that fascinated John Szarkowski. Add a selection of shots, together with relevant shooting data and a description of your process (how you captured the images), to your learning log.

Being able to use fast shutter speeds is a privilege modern photographers have over the photographers of the days when slow shutter speeds was all that was on offer. We are able to capture mere fractions of a second in time and freeze that moment in an image, then we are able to instantly view it when shooting digital, the whole process is quick and requires a faster eye to capture potential scenes.

When used appropriately, it can render some beautiful images that are sometimes unseen by human vision. Liquid can take on a shape or form, dancers can be frozen in a pose and animals moving fast can appear as statues among many other possibilities.

Sometimes, continuous (or burst) mode is used in order to not miss the opportunity for a photograph. For instance, a photographer wishing to capture a Formula 1 race car driving by on a track may not put all their hopes on just one click of the shutter, so they shoot multiple photos in extremely quick succession as the car goes by. The camera works much faster than our eye and the result would be a series of pictures all slightly different and capturing their own unique moment frozen in time.

John Szarkowski Wrote:

“..whether good or bad, luck is the attentive photographer’s best teacher, for it defines what might be anticipated next time.”

I agree with this in part. As a photographer, it is important to anticipate and try to foresee an event which might occur. Yes, of course there is an element of luck in capturing the perfect shot when you are dealing with fractions of a second in a continuously changing environment. I believe a photographer must have the ability or at the very least, a will to experiment with attempted foresight and to listen to their own intuition and imagination of what shot could be achieved before it occurs as opposed to anticipating for the next time. You would end up missing many opportunities if you simply relied on luck alone.

My Shots




























As you can see form my own shots, water can produce some beautiful shapes and patterns when it is frozen in time using fast shutter speeds, it can almost take on a solid form as exampled in my first enlarged picture of the flowers in a bowl of water.

My second enlarged shot was taken with a slightly slower shutter speed and although I still believe this captures a frozen moment in time, you can see some movement within the water as it makes a circle shape from the girls foot. The water represents some sense of movement within this shot but still coheres to the frozen moment with her fixed position and leg kicked into the air.

My third enlarged shot has a faster shutter speed again which creates a solid shape from the water as it rises.


Online –

  • https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/jul/20/john-szarkowski-photography-moma

Books –

  • Freeman, M (2007) The Photographer’s eye ILEX Octopus Publishing Group Ltd