Know your camera : SHUTTER SPEED

Know your camera : SHUTTER SPEED

shutter speed

Shutter speed is the amount of time that your shutter is open for. It gives you option to blur the motion or to freeze it.

How is Shutter Speed measured?

It is a length of time, so it is measured in seconds. And if less than a second it is measured in fractions. Most of the cameras allow you to change shutter speed from 1/4000 to 30 seconds.

To change the shutter speed you have to shoot in manual mode or TV mode (canon) or shutter priority mode (Nikon).

What is the use of changing Shutter Speed? 

The shutter is a curtain, besides blurring or freezing the motion, it opens to expose the camera sensor to light. that is, slow shutter speed lets in more light and brighten your photo and high shutter speed lets in less light and reduce the exposure.

Lighting and the shutter speed.

As slow shutter speed lets in more light for a longer duration, slow shutter speed is used in low light conditions and high shutter speed in well lit daylight conditions. But the main function of shutter speed is to blur or freeze the motion. Light entry can be set more efficiently by using ISO and Aperture.

Playing with the shutter speed.

Changing shutter speed lets you shoot some out of the box images that your eyes can not see. Either by freezing the moment, panning or long exposing it. A whole new image comes out of it. The most appropriate shutter speed for capturing daily routine activities is 1/125 s. Again, it is not a restriction to use it. Always explore the limits to get a more appealing image. Anyways here is a cheat sheet for you :-

shutter speed
Shutter Speed

What is panning?

Panning is just a combination of slow shutter speed and the camera in motion. It creates a sense of speed around a moving object.
running man, car, bikes, running dog are the easy subjects of panning. The camera is moved with the direction of motion of subject to get the panning effect.
Favoured shutter speed for panning is between 1/2 s to 1/40 s or it depends upon the movement of subject.

shutter speed, panning
Shutter Speed = 1/30 s
The camera is fixed on an axis and the subject is moving
shutter speed, panning
shutter speed = 1/50 s
The subject if fixed and the camera is in horizontal motion.

Long exposure Photography-

Most often it is done to create a silk effect on the flowing water. Shutter speed can be as low from fractions to whole numbers. Apart from reading have a look on two images and understand it easily:-

shutter speed, landscape, long exposure
Shutter speed  = 1/30 s

shutter speed, landscape, long exposure
Shutter Speed = 1/4 s


The main motto behind this article was to create little different images by changing shutter speed. Now takeout your camera, hit on manual or shutter priority mode and experience it yourself.


To know about the three pillars of photography, click here.
For more knowledge about ISO, click here.
For more knowledge about Aperture, click here.

Know your camera : SHUTTER SPEED Know your camera : SHUTTER SPEED Reviewed by A Doctor's Photography on January 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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