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Chapter 5: Shutter Speed and Subject Mot... > Manipulating Motion: The Creative Po...

Manipulating Motion: The Creative Power of Shutter Speed

In the early days of photography, pioneering landscape photographers like William Henry Jackson and Carleton E. Watkins hauled giant wooden cameras around on the backs of mule teams so that they (the photographers, not the mules) could document the American wilderness (Watkins frequently worked with a glass-plate camera that made 18 × 22-inch negatives). Exposure times for their massive images were measured in many minutes, often up to an hour. There were no shutter-speed dials, and the length of an exposure was based purely on experimentation and the responsiveness of the materials involved. Photographers spent a lot of time just watering the mules and admiring the scenery while the exposures took place. (But then again, if it took you months or even years to get to a great overlook to take a picture, why rush the exposure?)


  

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