Stella's Photography Tips: Shutter Speed


Following on from my photography tips from March, this month I am explaining how to use shutter speed to your advantage, to show motion, either to slow it down or to freeze it. This works particularly well for moments that are fleeting, for example as shown here with the flow of water, the same principals apply for sports photography.

Simply follow the steps below and enjoy the experiment!

1. Depending on how close you are to your subject, this generally works best with a 24mm -120mm so you have varied range of focus. A focal range similar to this is fine - remember there are no hard and fast rules.

2. To show motion, select a slow shutter speed 1/15 of a second and below.

3. It is best to use a tripod to avoid camera shake, or make sure you are leaning against something sturdy to support yourself. Alternatively you can stand with your legs apart and your elbows close to your body to minimise camera shake.

4. Select auto ISO as you maybe restricted with your maximum aperture opening. Just to remind you that ISO controls the sensitivity of light on the digital sensor. Auto ISO will increase or decrease the sensitivity by going up to increase or down to decrease, in numbers from 200 - 400 - 800 - 1600 - 3200. If you prefer you can control this manually.

5. Select you aperture at f5.6 and take the shot, experiment to achieve your desired effect and exposure.

6. To show frozen motion select a fast shutter speed about 1/500 of a second or more.

7. Keep the aperture to f5.6 and the ISO to auto. Take the shot and experiment with different exposures to achieve the desired effect.

If you would like more advice to help you understand your camera one to one, I offer masterclasses tailored to suit your knowledge and ability. Alternatively, you and a friend can take a class with me.



Out and About: The Beautiful Tulip Celebrations at Hever Castle

It is the time of year when we all start looking for signs of spring - perhaps this year more than any other after such a cold winter! Of course nothing says spring more than beautiful flowers and for the second time, Hever Castle and Gardens is hosting a Tulip Celebrations event from April 18 - 27 with over 20,000 magnificent spring tulips in bloom.

For those of you who have not yet visited, Hever Castle is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and is a stunning backdrop to the beautiful blooms making this celebration a local spectacle, and a personal highlight!

Visitors can enjoy a self-guided tulip trail, or time with Hever’s Head Gardener Neil Miller. I love the vibrant colours, and tulip varieties planted in the Castle grounds, along the stunning Pompeiian Wall, in the traditional Tudor Garden and the ‘Italian Garden’.

Documented for the first time this year is the history of the tulip and this is marked with displays and information in the Castle. I found the global footprint of the tulip especially interesting and its journey from Turkey to Holland in the Sixteenth Century.

I will be at Hever Castle to enjoy this up-lifting time of year over the next few days, of course with my camera. I hope to see some of you there!

For more information please visit Hever Castle here



Bespoke Framing Service

A photograph on a screen can never be as meaningful as one on your wall or sideboard for everyone to enjoy. Once displayed the memory is always with you, in your day to day life. At the same time, an art work that you love can only be improved with a beautifully designed frame.

This is why, we are proud to have collaborated with the finest British craftsmen, to offer a bespoke and personal framing service for over 20 years. With our understanding of photography and art work, and our partners natural materials, we can advise you on the best way to accentuate and display your cherished images, limited editions, needlepoint, fabrics and canvases.

We have available an extensive selection of frame mouldings, mount cards and glass. Depending on the complexity of your requirements our turnaround time is between 2 - 4 weeks.

Please visit our studio so we can explain the process and you can finally present your memories and art!



An Oxted Easter Celebration!

Yesterday, Easter Saturday, marked the start of the Love Oxted Easter Trail. Last year’s event attracted hundreds of families to the town and this year’s promises to be even bigger and better!

I am proud to say that SMS Creative Photography is involved in this lovely event, it gets right to the heart of my business - celebrating fun family time in Oxted, a wonderful place for children, their families and for making memories.

Please do pop in for an Easter Trail sheet, I’d love to pass this to your families, and to help with the clues!

Please share the fun on social media and tag me; @StellaSMS on Twitter and Instagram posts and Love Oxted, who now have a new Instagram feed; @LoveOxted. Please do give them a follow and visit their website to find out more here.

Most importantly, I’d like to wish all of my valued customers and friends a very Happy Easter with your families and friends. I really hope you enjoy this special time together, and hope to see you in SMS Creative Photography in the days ahead.



Stella’s Photography Tips


Introducing....’Stella’s Photography Tips’

If you would like more advice to help you understand your camera one to one, I offer masterclasses tailored to suit your knowledge and ability. Alternatively, you can take a class with a friend.

  1. Get used to operating your camera in manual mode. Once you are familiar with this then you will have the confidence to use shutter priority or aperture priority.
  2. In manual mode you can choose the ISO, shutter speed and aperture to control the desired exposure.
  3. Aperture priority is how the photographer sets the aperture. This is in the lens and operates like the iris of the eye. Make it larger to let more light in and smaller to allow less light in. Once this is set the camera then adapts the shutter speed to allow the correct exposure.
  4. Shutter priority is how the photographer sets the correct shutter speed.  The camera automatically sets the correct aperture for the correct exposure.
  5. On both of the above, automatic ISO can be selected, or set at the desired setting to suit the lighting conditions, such as 200 for bright sunny day, 400 for overcast and 1600 for low lighting.
  6. At Spring time on a sunny day I suggest using ISO 400 - Shutter speed 125 – with the aperture set at f11.  Use this as a starting point and adapt the shutter speed and aperture accordingly to get the desired exposure.



In Conversation with W.W. Warner...


W.W. Warner Antiques are a wonderful local business, sourcing beautiful antique porcelain and glass from around the world. In this ‘In Conversation With…’ read on for insights and tips from Managing Partner, Chris Jowitt.

Chris Jowitt, Managing Partner, has been dealing in Porcelain for over 25 years, during which time he has helped to develop great collections as well as introduce many new clients to the wonderful world of collecting. Here he explains how he became an antique dealer, what he loves about our area, and the future trends he expects for the year ahead.

1.  How did you become a porcelain dealer?

I always had an interest in collecting precious items, from a young age.  Through my family I had a connection with the industry and I have been working as a dealer ever since. 

2.  What do you love most about our local area?

It has to be the diversity of beautiful things around us to see, from rolling hills to picturesque villages . 

3.  What trends do you predict in 2018?

I predict that, people will continue to seek out the very best purchases for them.  Buying the best is a trend that always pays dividends.

4.  Where can we buy a piece of porcelain? 

From my shop!  We can source the finest antique porcelain and glass from around the world.

5.  What else would you like to tell us about your business?  

As well as offering many unique products through our shop, we advise major collections and museums worldwide on porcelain.  This is another part of my job, and one that I love.  We can also arrange restoration and conservation of precious items, and valuations for a treasured possession you may be curious about. 

This interview follows on from our 'Local Business Showcase' in February.

W.W. Warner can be found in Brasted, Kent.

Photograph above: An extremely rare Meissen Johann Frederich Böttger Hausmalerie teapot and cover of compressed globular form painted in red monochrome. With gilded fluted moulding around the cover, rim and foot. The chain is solid gold. Porcelain dates to c1720 with the decoration slightly later.