shutter speed american bald eagle

Shutter SpeedShutter speed is what you want to change when you want to show movement in your picture or when you want to take an incredibly clear shot, a moment in time, without any blur of movement at all.  The slower the shutter speed is, the more movement the camera will capture.

The three main adjustable parts of your camera are ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.  Aperture and shutter speed together are what determines exposure because they both affect how much light is taken in while the picture is being taken.  The most basic definition of shutter speed is how long the shutter takes to open and close.



Shutter Speedshutter closingShuttershutter exposedshutter speedcamera shutterShutter Speed

Your camera’s shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds.  If you set your shutter speed to 1/1000 of a second it will be much faster than 1/10 of a second.  Typically you won’t be using a shutter speed slower than 1/60 because any slower and you would include motion in your picture, making it blurry.

As you start exploring the different speeds you can use keep in mind, that you use a shutter speed slower than 1/60 you will need something to stabilize your camera, such as a tripod.

Also, there are some cameras now that have a built in image stabilization system to help your pictures not be effected by any accidental shakes.

If you are trying to take a picture with no movement you want to consider how close you are to the ‘action’ you are taking picture of.  The closer you are to it the faster you want the shutter speed so that you won’t miss your shot.  For example, if someone throws a ball right past your face you hardly see it but if you are a good distance off you see the ball the entire time.

When determining what you want your shutter speed to be, you have to know if you want to see movement in the finished picture or if you want a frozen moment to take with you.  Just remember, the slower your setting, the more movement and motion you will see in your picture.



5 COMMENTS

  1. There is more to shutter speed than keeping an image from blurring. Using a slow shutter speed for long exposure times can be used to good effect to add blur to a scene in order to give the sense of movement. Long exposure times are often used with the waterfall example you to show the movement of the falling water. Taking a photo of a moving object against a fixed background, or visa versa, can also give the viewer the sensation of speed in a photograph.

  2. Hi,

    I just found this site and it is great!! All the courses online cost hundreds, and this answered my basic questions in 5 minutes. Thanks so much for such a great site!!

    Cheers and happy holidays,

    Mike

  3. You’ve talked about the (negative) effect a long exsposure time can have. Are there any negative effects to having a very short exsposure time, such as underlighting? (Which I assume can be corrected with aperture settings).

    Great site by the way 😀

  4. When light is plentiful it’s great to capture a still shot with a fast shutter speed. The problem is that the aperture can only open so big (especially on cheaper lenses). So it comes down to getting more lighting if you want to have good exposure and a quick shutter speed.

  5. i don’t actually understand it!!
    are you saying that for higher shutter speeds,the blur less images will be made and for lower shutter speeds,the blur less videos will be made??!!!

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