Shutter speed is very important in photography, as important as aperture and ISO. Shutter speed can make your images more artistic and clear.
All three work together to make each image the best it can be. Learning how to adjust your shutter speed, ISO, and aperture can change how you approach photography forever.
What Is Shutter Speed In Photography?
Shutter speed is how fast the shutter opens and closes when the shutter button is pressed, also known as exposure time. The longer the image sensor sees the image, the slower your shutter speed is and the less time it sees the image, the faster your shutter speed is. Shutter speed is measured in seconds or even fractions of seconds, such as 1/60.
The longer the image sensor sees the image, the slower your shutter speed is and the less time it sees the image, the faster your shutter speed is. Shutter speed is measured in seconds or even fractions of seconds, such as 1/60th – one sixtieth of a second. Shutter speeds approximately double as you change them, allowing either more light into the image or less.
What Does Shutter Speed Do?
Shutter speeds either allow more light into the image when using slower shutter speeds, or constrict the amount of light when using faster shutter speeds. Too much light let into the image can result in an overly pale image, or over-exposure, while too little light can result in too dark images, or under-exposure.
How Do I Use Shutter Speed?
Slower shutter speeds are used in low light situations, as well as other situations, such as capturing movement or for special effects.
If you are using a shutter speed below 1/60th, a tripod is recommended for your camera’s built in image stabilization system. With movement, you have two options – use a faster shutter speed to freeze the action, or a slower shutter speed to blur the movement and give it a sense of motion.
A popular way of using slow shutter speeds to show motion is in water images where the water appears to be moving while the rest of the environment is in focus. One rule of thumb involves focal length and shutter speed, in non-stabilized situations in particular. That rule of thumb is to choose a shutter speed that is larger than the focal length of your lens.
Here is an example table of what type of photos in different shutter speed:
|1 -> 30s||In low-light conditions or special night|
|1/2s -> 2s||Flowing water, waterfall and general landscape photos (use a tripod to improve the depth of field)|
|1/2s -> 1/30s||The background of the moving subjects will have some motion blurs ( good for portraits)|
|1/51s -> 1/101s||Common photos with no substantial zoom|
|1/251s -> 1/501s||Daily sports activities|
|1/1001s -> 1/4001s||very quick and up-close motion of the subject|
Increasing shutter speed doubles the amount of light available for your image, which is important to remember as aperture does the same thing, so moving your shutter speed up one step and your aperture down one will give you about the same amount of exposure.
- Shutter speed controls the flow of light into an image.
- Increasing shutter speed and reducing aperture equals about the same exposure.
- Very short shutter speed will freeze movement.
- Very long shutter speed will blur movement.
- Shutter speed works with ISO and aperture to bring together an image.
- Keep your shutter speed close to your lens’ focal length in non-stabilized situations.
- Too much light hitting the image sensor can cause over-exposure.
- Too little light hitting the image sensor can cause under-exposure.
- A tripod is recommended when using slow shutter speeds.