Photography Basics: Shutter Speed

One of the main factors of the exposure triangle is shutter speed. The shutter is the small door like piece that sits over your camera’s sensor. Think of shutters on a window.  They are meant to close to block out light or protect your windows in a storm.  The shutter on a camera is similar in that it blocks out light. The shutter speed is the amount of time that the shutter is open to expose your camera’s sensor to light. Shutter speeds are measured in fractions of a second at the fastest to seconds at the slowest.  Typical shutter speeds include 1/500,1/250,1/125, 1/60,1/30, ⅛  ,¼  , 1, 2… etc to bulb.  You get the picture.  This will vary depending on your model of camera.  Bulb mode is a shutter speed mode where the shutter will stay open as long as the shutter is pressed.  This mode is very useful for night shooting where you wan to let lots of light into your camera.

 

Shutter speed will affect factors such as motion blur.  A slower shutter speed on faster moving objects will show motion blur. Faster shutter speeds will stop motion, or “freeze the action”.  Let’s say you wanted to capture a picture of a humming bird flying,   you would need a very fast shutter speed to stop the action of this humming bird.

 

So there you have it a quick rundown of shutter speed.  Get that camera off of auto mode and experiment with shutter speed and see what kind of results you can get.  It may seem daunting at first, but after playing with it for a bit, you will see these concepts for yourself.

 

What is your biggest photography problem?  Please leave it in the comments below. Need more help or more confidence?  Why don’t you go over here and download our free eBook?  We go over some the basic introductory things you will need to know to shoot DIY senior pictures.  It is free!  What have you got to lose?

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