A Happy Accident
Shot on Aperture Priority, f2.8, 1/80s, -1EV

Let’s just call the photo above a happy accident. I’d love to say that I planned to set my shutter speed to 1/80 of a second, but I didn’t. In the low light of a night race with an f2.8 lens, I might go as low as 1/400, but I would never have purposefully chosen 1/80. So, how did it happen? When taking a portrait in these same lighting conditions, I will often quickly switch to “aperture priority” and let the camera set the shutter speed based on the aperture (f2.8).

In this case, that is exactly what I did to capture the shot below. High School football stadiums aren’t built to light the track at night, they are built to light the field, so the image below in a brighter part of the stadium was set to 1/125 of a second. As you can see, that one looks pretty crisp all around. But I forgot to change my setting back to shutter priority and didn’t realize it until after the runners had passed this curve. “Bummer,” I thought.

At the moment, I was a bit frustrated. However, when I saw the image as I was editing, I loved the effect it created. That’s why you’re seeing it here today. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read plenty of articles on how people do this on purpose to capture this sense of motion. I’ve just never done it on purpose. I’m thinking I might try it more often now though. 🙂

A Happy Accident
Shot on Aperture Priority, f2.8, 1/125s, -1EV

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EXIF Data Below Applies Only To The Featured Photo In This Post
  • Aperture: ƒ/2.8
  • Camera: ILCE-1
  • Taken: 9 April, 2022
  • Exposure bias: -1EV
  • Focal length: 70mm
  • ISO: 500
  • Shutter speed: 1/80s
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