Trevor’s High Speed Photography Tips
The photo above of a water balloon colliding with the ground
was taken with a Nikon Coolpix 5600. This camera is a fully automatic
point-and-shoot style camera. However,
with some cheap components and a little ingenuity, it can be used to take high
quality high speed photos. Obviously, a
trigger of some sort is needed, (look here
to build your own) as well as a flash unit.
The hard part comes from getting the automatic camera to do the things
that are quite easy with a manual camera.
Some tips for taking high speed photos with a camera like the Nikon 5600
follows on the next page.
What Not To Do
the camera on “fireworks” scene, or any similar slow shutter, low light
setting. The camera will
automatically focus on infinity, and the photographer can not override
that. While the shutter speed is
long enough to give the photographer ample time, the photos will be out of
focus (see below).
the camera on automatic picture mode, with the flash off. Since the room is dark, the camera will
automatically set itself to a slower shutter speed.
focus the camera, shine a flashlight on the subject so the camera has
enough light and focus the camera.
This is usually done by holding the shutter button down halfway.
holding the shutter button halfway, and shut off the flashlight. Start the event (dropping of a ball,
etc.) at the same time you press the shutter down all the way, as the
shutter speed is not extremely long.
flash unit should be fairly far (4 ft.) from the object, or else the photo
will be too bright because the camera automatically sets the aperture very
large when it is in such a dark environment (see below).
these steps are completed, the photos obtained are very high quality and
look like ones obtained with an expensive manual camera.