Impala, Botswana

Photograph by Chris Johns, National Geographic

Fast exposures can freeze actions that happen in the blink of an eye. This photograph by Chris Johns captures an impala in mid-flight. By using a fast shutter speed and a very narrow depth of field, Johns has isolated the animal’s movement against a background that is out of focus and therefore doesn’t distract the eye. —Annie Griffiths

Photo Tip: By understanding how the shutter speed and the aperture settings of a camera work together in any exposure, the photographer can make deliberate choices about what he or she would like to capture. Automatic settings are great for many things, but a basic knowledge of how the camera works will lead to far more creative photography.

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