RCPS Press Report 9th June 2026

Most photographers opt to use aperture priority as their default setting because the camera will, unless it is being operated fully manually, always work out a shutter speed and ISO setting except in very extreme lighting conditions and offer the better options for depth of field (DoF). However, sometimes photographers, particularly those interested in wildlife or sports photography, choose to use ‘Shutter Priority’, also shown as T, Tv or S on a camera dial when they want to stop the action. Most cameras offer a range of shutter speeds from slow (30 seconds) to fast, 1/4000 second or even faster. Increasing the shutter speed reduces the amount of light falling on the camera sensor. A slower shutter speed will introduce blur into a picture, a faster one will stop the action. On some occasions, however, depending upon the lens being used, there may not always be enough available light to allow the shutter speed you want therefore the choice then is between using a faster lens, using flash or pushing up the ISO setting. Some people believe that ISO stands for, ‘International Standards Organisation,’ a body that created a standard for film sensitivity, others dispute this. What is a fact, however, is that ISO is a measure of the sensitivity to light that on a camera sensor. ISO can be altered on the camera. It usually is operated at a baseline of 100 although it can be increased to 200, 400, 800, 1600 and in some cases well beyond. If available light is not good enough for an acceptable image, increasing the ISO will reduce exposure time, retain the same aperture but allow the shutter speed to be increased. Depending on the make and type of camera, increasing ISO will almost always bring with it some increase in noise in the picture, this being speckles of colour that populate the whole of the image. Some, but not all of this can be rectified in post-camera process operations. As ever, it is a question of trial and error.
One of our competitions for the new season is entitled ‘Motion.’ There are many ways of conveying movement in a photograph. One technique is to put a camera on a tripod and set a long exposure which is useful for capturing streaking light rails, for example lines of traffic at night, another is panning. This is when the photographer follows a moving object or person, swivelling from one side to the other as the subject moves across the line of vision. This may result in the main subject remaining reasonably sharp but the background becoming a blur, emphasising the movement going on. Shooting at a very slow speed may blur all the image but shooting at 1/30th second will keep a stationary subject sharp whilst blurring the background – for example a passenger standing on a platform may be in focus but a passing train will be a blur. Dialling in a long exposure whilst moving either the camera or pulling a telephoto lens in and out may produce some interesting abstracts. Using a fast shutter speed can freeze action and if it is say of an animal leaping in the air, the fact that the subject is doing something like this implies movement in itself. As ever, there is no substitute for getting out and about and experimenting. If you want to chat about any of the stuff written here or share your latest pictures, don’t forget we meet on the second Monday night of the month at the Golden Lion pub in Allhallowgate – so that’s next Monday, 13th June, from 7.30pm onwards.