Capture cannon explosions at a war reenactment

edited February 2012 Posted in » Nikon D3100 Forum
I was talking with a fellow D3100 owner over on my Facebook page and he was wondering which settings would be best for capturing cannon explosions at a war reenactment. I thought it would be beneficial to share our conversation with all of you...

Norbert's Question: Hi Moose and everyone. Very soon I will have the opportunity to take some shots at a war reenactment where cannon shots will take place. The time of the day will be around Noon (March). What settings would u suggest?

Moose's Answer: It really depends on the effect you're going for. If you want to add a bit of drama to the photo, you might want to experiment with slower shutter speed in order to capture subject movement and cannon explosions.

To do this, you'll need a ND (neutral density) filter and a tripod. A neutral density filter will allow you to slow down the shutter speed in broad daylight. A tripod will ensure that the trees, ground, etc... will remain sharp. You don't want the entire shot to be blurry, you just want to capture subject infantry running or a cannon recoiling from a shot.

Set your ISO to 100 and shoot in shutter priority (S on the mode dial). Start with a shutter speed between 1/10 to 1/30. You may have to go a bit slower to get the effect you're after.

If you're looking to freeze fast action, just remove the ND filter and choose a shutter speed between 1/250 and 1/2000 depending on how much light is available. I would also experiment with burst mode, which will rattle off a series of shots around 3 frames per second. You can capture some really cool action shots this way. Happy shooting! :)

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