Why Is it Important to understand Shutter Speed?


“The Faster your Shutter Opens and Closes, the less you have to worry about a blurry image”.

You’ll recall from first lesson of Aperture https://www.kapeeshgaur.in/the-exposure-triangle/ I explained, there is a hole in your lens that allows light to travel through is and towards your camera sensor.

Shutter speed is yet another way of controlling how much light enters the camera. However instead of controlling the size of the opening like with aperture, shutter speed determines how long the hole is left open.

Leave it open for too long and your photographs will be overexposed. If you don’t leave it open long enough, the image will be too dark.

Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second, for example 1/60th of a second. The smaller the fraction, the faster the shutter speed. For example, 1/500 is faster than 1/4

Shutter Speed on your digital camera

The best way to learn all about shutter speed, is to set your camera to ‘Shutter Priority’ then experiment with fast and slow speeds.
Difference between fast and slow shutter speeds

Fast shutter speeds freeze action, whereas slow shutter speeds blur action. Furthermore, fast shutter speeds allow less light in whereas slow shutter speed allow more light in.

Solving the problem of camera shake

A shutter speed that is set to slowly can result in either the subject or whole image to be blurry. When shooting with a slower shutter speed, it is more difficult to hold the camera still without a tripod. Hence a faster shutter speed helps to eliminate camera shake problems.

Furthermore, when the subject is moving you need to make sure your shutter speed is faster than the movement or you won’t end up with a keeper!

“For crisp sharp images set a faster shutter speed”.

When should shutter speed be first Priority ?

Shutter speed chart

There are two situations when shutter speed be your first priority.
1. When the scene has action/motion. To achieve the correct action you may need to increase your ISO and lower your aperture F-stop number and your faster shutter speed.
2. When shooting in low light with no tripod you’ll want to keep your shutter speed nice and fast so there is no blur from camera shake. In low light do this by increasing your ISO number and lowering your aperture f-stop number. This will allow you to shoot with a fast shutter speed!

Summary Notes :

The rules are simple.

To blur, set a slow shutter speed, use a tripod and shoot early morning or late evening when there is less light available. Alternatively you could use a ND filter to help block out light with enables you to shoot slower.

To freeze motion or eliminate blurry Photographs, set a fast shutter speed! When hand holding your camera always aim to shoot faster than the length of your lens.

Experiment a lot just for the fun of it. Choose a moving subject and try both fast and slow shutter speeds to see what effect it has on the image. Don’t worry about getting the perfect shot or how many are keepers. Experimentation is by far the best way to learn your camera settings.

Happy clicking

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