Creativity through experimenting with shutter speeds

I recently took a photography course run by photographer and fellow blogger Otto von Münchow, ‘Finding your Photographic Voice’. It was most enjoyable, very challenging, and had me thinking about ways of improving my creativity. Not to say my attention to detail! I have got quite lazy about achieving the correct exposure, thinking about basic technical stuff. Now, the course was about thinking about your vision, the artistic stuff rather than the technique…but I quickly realised I needed to pay more attention to getting things right if I wanted the creative results!

One of the things I have taken from doing the assignments is utilising shutter speed for creative effect. On Tuesday I posted an image in ‘Attempting to create a sense of Time Passed’ that I took at the weekend amongst the ruins of Tyneham… This was created using a slow shutter speed, 2.5 seconds.

Earlier, during my trip to Turkey, I experimented using slow shutter speeds to show people at work, using their hands, and will post a few shots soon.
And during Otto’s course, when I first experimented with slow shutter speeds, I was creating artistic (I hope!) effects to put my interpretation onto street art in London. One of these got me top marks in a recent competition at my photo club.

In a later post, I shall show some more of my ‘Voice’ assignment images, but here are a few to show how I used long shutter speeds:

With this image I was trying to create a sense of illusion – what is art, and what is reality….



This was the 10/10 shot!




This image was one of the ones exhibited in Turkey:

Caught in a Storm

Caught in a Storm

Do give me your thoughts! Would you use shutter speed for creativity?


  1. Suzanne

    These are fascinating Sue. I think you have struck rich creative vein here. I hope you keep up these experiments.


    Love the last ! Have fun with this. Looking forward to seeing your new styles.

  3. fascinating, I look forward to more. Are these all hand-held then? How do you stop the camera shake on a long exposure?

    • Two of the images in this post were hand held, at 1/20 and 1/25 second (Demon and Caught in a Storm), but Illusion was taken using tripod at 1 second. I reckon 1/20 second is the slowest I can do hand held if I take a deep breath or better still brace myself against something! The lens I used for these has VR (Nikon’s vibration reduction).

      • Thanks for that Sue. I really need to start experimenting too and stop using automatic settings!

      • What camera are you using? Do you have plenty of options for using your own settings?

      • It is a Fuji HS20 with lots of manual settings. I just need to take time out and learn how to use them properly before I move on to a camera with interchangeable lenses.

  4. poppytump

    Great experimentation going on here as the results show Sue . It does seem to work well with street photography . Well done on your 10/10 🙂

  5. I’ve come across a couple of people who’ve done courses with Otto, Sue, and all seemed to feel they had gained a lot from it. Glad it’s making you happy. 🙂

  6. Sonel

    Very artistic and creative indeed Sue. Well done! 🙂

  7. Well Sue, based on my post this week, obviously I agree with creative photography LOL! Your shots were done a bit differently but generated the same effect and look terrific. Glad to hear you enjoyed Otto’s course!

  8. I love these images, Sue! The effect is so interesting and certainly artistic. Think I’ll experiment with some slow shutter speeds tomorrow – thank you! I’m also going to look into Otto’s courses. Beautiful work!

    • Thanks for your enthusiastic comment, Susan! I shall post some more today, of people working with their hands, that I took in Turkey. Hope you get some good shots yourself. 🙂

  9. All experimentation is good in my book.

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