shutter speed-it can change your world

Or at least what your world looks like in images….

So here is where you see the shutter speed on the back of your camera (or about where):

Shutter speed can freeze motion or create creative blur. It can also stop down the light entering the camera’s sensor making it a very valuable tool in trying to achieve the look you are going for, especially when it comes to sunset images.

Take a look at these two images:

1/200      f/2.8    ISO 250  (SOOC or straight out of camera)

NOW LOOK…just the shutter speed has changed from 1/200 to 1/2000 (these were taken only seconds apart)

By making the shutter slower in the first image I let a lot of light in because I was trying to get some brighter images like this:

But then I sped it up tremendously so I could capture the silhouette and the beauty of the sunset for some also-two completely different looks within a matter of seconds by changing one little number!

So what does that fraction mean? Seconds….for instance 1/200 is a 200th of a second and 1/2000 means a 2000th of a second so the larger the number on the bottom, the faster the shutter so the less light allowed in AND incidentally, the less time for movement or blur to show.  So you want motion blur? Slow it down. Want more light? Slow it down (but beware of motion blur-its a fine line). Want crisper images? Speed it up (but beware of darker images).

Click to  see more of Chris & Christine’s Engagement Images.

  • Diann Aguilar - February 11, 2011 - 1:50 pm

    So, I have a question about this post- Shutter Speed
    I am trying to learn about lighting, and I understand about shutter speed. What I’m trying to figure out, is in a low light situation and slowing down your shutter speed, HOW do you still get a good image w/out the blur?? No matter how still I hold my camera, it still comes out blurry. :( What’s the secret? Is there some other setting that makes a difference?ReplyCancel

    • kansas - February 11, 2011 - 3:56 pm

      Here is the rule of thumb…your shutter speed should not be any less than the focal length you are using for hand holding (without a tripod). In other words, theoretically with a 50 mm you should not go below 1/50 and you should be fine. This obviously changes with people and their individual “steadiness.” If you are getting shake you can always up you ISO (but watch out for unintentional grain if you have a consumer grade camera) or open your aperture. If you are getting a 50 mm you should at least get a f/1.8 (around $100) and that should help alot to get it wide open (at 1.8).ReplyCancel

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