Understanding Shutter Speed To Improve Photography Skill Instantly

Shutter Speed

A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Shutter Speed

If you’re new to photography, the term “shutter speed” might sound a bit daunting. But don’t worry – it’s actually pretty simple! In this beginner’s guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about shutter speed, from the basics of how it works to some creative ways you can use it to take amazing photos.

Introduction: what is shutter speed, how does it work

Shutter speed
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In photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time when the film or digital sensor inside the camera is exposed to light, and also when a camera’s shutter is open when taking a photograph.

The faster shutter, the shorter the amount of time the image sensor is exposed to light, and vice versa for a slower shutter speed. A faster shutter speed will result in a sharper image while a slower one will result in a blurrier image.

It works hand-in-hand with the aperture to control how much light enters the camera and ultimately affects the exposure of an image.

When photographing fast-moving objects, it’s important to use a fast shutter to freeze the action and avoid capturing a blurry photo. On the other hand, if you want to capture the feeling of movement, using a slow shutter will result in photos with beautiful motion blur.

The basics: how to choose a shutter speed

Shutter speed
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There are three main factors to consider when choosing a shutter speed: the level of light, the desired effect, and the type of subject.

In general, the faster the shutter is the less light that will be let in. This is why faster shutters are often used in high-light situations or when trying to freeze a fast-moving subject.

different shutter speed
Image by Simon Pratley

Slower shutter speeds allow more light to enter the camera and can create a dreamy or blurry effect, depending on how still the camera is held. This can be used to great effect with waterfalls or other moving subjects.

Fast shutter speeds: what they’re good for

fast shutter speed
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This is how long the camera’s sensor is exposed to light when you take a photo. A fast shutter speed means a shorter exposure time, and vice versa.

A fast shutter (1/500 of a second or faster) is good for capturing action and frozen moments. It’s also good for high-light situations where you don’t want to use a flash. For example, a fast shutter is suitable for shooting a flying bird or a running dog.

fast shutter speed
Image by Photo Traces
fast shutter speed
Image by Alberto Ghizzi Panizza

Normally, the fast shutter combines with a low F-Stop aperture (wider the aperture), because you need more light to exposure. Also, a continue-focus function is important to avoid motion blur.

By using the low F-Stop aperture, you can capture more depth-of-field photos, and create a blurring background effect.

If you’re not sure what speed to use, start with a mid-range setting like 1/250 or 1/60 and adjust from there. And remember, practice makes perfect!

Slow shutter speeds: what they’re good for

Slow shutter speeds are good for a number of things. They can be used to capture moving objects, create a sense of motion, or make light trails. They can also be used to improve the low-light performance of a camera.

To use a slow shutter, you will need to use a tripod or some other form of support. This is because the longer the exposure, the more likely it is that your image will be blurry. To avoid this, make sure that your camera is steady before taking the shot.

Another thing to keep in mind when using a slow shutter is that your aperture will need to be open wider in order to let in enough light.

slow shutter speed
Image by MaxCompose
Light trait
Image by MaxCompose

A slow shutter creates a motion blur effect, like a smoothy waterfall, or smoothy wave on the beach, a milky way, fireworks, etc. Motion blur is when an object appears blurred in a photograph because it is moving too fast for the camera’s speed.

Image by MaxCompose

When using a slow shutter speed in the daytime, you need to have an ND filter to reduce light to your camera sensor. ND 1000 is recommended for most situations.

B Shutter or Bulb Shutter

When it comes to slow shutter speed, you also can use the B shutter and the bulb shutter. So, what’s that?

B shutter, or Bulb Shutter, is a type of shutter that allows for a long exposure time. This is because the shutter stays open as long as the button is depressed. This is ideal for night photography or when you want to capture a lot of movements, such as light trails or star trails.

Milk way
Image by MaxCompose

Bulb Shutter, on the other hand, has a preset exposure time. Once you depress the button, the shutter will open and close at the preset interval. This is great for more precise exposures, such as when photographing landscapes.

So which one should you use? It really depends on what you’re trying to photograph.

For the normal camera, if your shutter is slower than 30sec, then you need to use the bulb or “b” shutter to capture more light.

Creative uses of shutter speed

Light trait
Image by Photography Course

One of the most creative ways to use shutter speed is to capture light trails. This can be done by setting your camera to a long exposure and then panning it across a scene with moving lights, such as traffic at night or fireworks.

Image by Photzy

You can also use bulb mode, where the shutter stays open as long as you keep your finger on the shutter release button. This allows you to time the exposure perfectly to capture the exact moment you want. You can use the colorful touch light to draw some shapes or write some words.

Image by American Art

Another creative way to use it is to freeze action. This can be done by using a faster speed, such as 1/1000th of a second or faster. This is perfect for capturing things like sports or water droplets. To freeze action, you will need to use a high ISO and wide aperture so that enough light enters the camera and the image is not too blurry.


Image by MaxCompose

Have you ever looked at a photograph and wondered how the photographer was able to freeze or blur a moving object? The answer lies in shutter speed.

Shutter speed is the amount of time that the camera’s shutter is open, exposing film or sensor to light. In this beginner’s guide, we will explain everything you need to know about it, how it works, and how you can use it to create stunning images.

Is that feel amazing about your camera? Try it today, you also can capture some creative photos to shock your follower.

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1 comment

    […] photography, shutter speed or exposure time is the length of time a camera’s shutter is open to expose light to the camera sensor. It is […]

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