I’ve tackled Aperture, and ISO. Today we’re moving onto Shutter Speed. What is it? Shutter Speed is the amount of time the shutter on your camera is open when you press the shutter release (the button that takes the photograph).
When I’m on a shoot, one of the first things I do is decide how I want the end result to look. For example, if I’m photographing a waterfall, I’ll need to decide if I want the water to be in focus (so you can see individual drops of water), or if I want to create the illusion of movement (blurring the water so it appears to be moving). In order to do that, I need to set the speed on my shutter accordingly. The speed settings are in seconds, and range from fast (like 1/500, as in 500th of a second), to slow (like 10, as in ten seconds). If you choose a fast shutter speed, the shutter won’t be open for very long, and you’ll freeze movement. If you choose a slow shutter speed, the shutter will be open for a much longer length of time (keep in mind, you’ll need a tripod for this), and you’ll be able to blur movement. Most cameras (always consult your manual for your specific camera) have a maximum shutter speed of 30. While keeping the shutter open for 30 seconds is a long time, you may also have an additional setting called “Bulb” or “B”. If selected, the shutter on your camera will stay open for as long as the shutter release is held down.
Look for my next post where I’ll tell you how Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed work together when you’re in Manual Mode.
Terri Johnson, Owner, Plumb Pixel Photography
The Right Angle Matters