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Figuring Out Shutter Speed!

Posted by on May 13, 2012

Shutter Speed is in reference to how fast the shutter is going on a camera.

The higher the shutter speed (1/1000) means the faster the shutter is going.  The smaller the shutter speed means the slower the shutter speed is going (1/30)

It is measured in seconds.

A good rule of thumb unless you have a tripod is to keep your shutter speed at 1/60 or higher to capture the best from your camera.  With a tripod you can go even lower, and that’s where long exposure can also come in handy.  I promise we’ll discuss the importance of a tripod later.

In order to freeze motion, you will want to utilize a higher shutter speed.  If you want your picture to show the blur of motion you will want to utilize a lower shutter speed.

Situations in which you may want a slower shutter speed:

When trying to capture moving water

When trying to capture the speed trails of light

Or when you’re trying to capture the speed of a car, motorcycle, or even a bike.  

Otherwise, if you’re looking to capture a picture with very little blur in it you will want to utilize a higher shutter speed.

So, get out there and start experimenting with shutter speeds, and let me know what you come up with =) They’re a ton of fun!

Another great article on Shutter Speed can be found here:

15 Responses to Figuring Out Shutter Speed!

  1. Modern Gypsy

    Nice, easy to understand description of shutter speed. Is the light trail picture yours? I’ve Bernard trying, but failing spectacularly, to get decent nigt trails!

    • Jamie

      Yes, the light trail picture is mine. Do you have a tripod?? =) If you’d like to know how send me a message, and I’ll walk you through it! =)

      • Modern Gypsy

        Yes, I have a tripod. Would love to know how to do this!

        • Jamie

          I promise a future post! I’ll focus on the use of tripods on Monday =) and I’ll explain the process then!

  2. Holly

    I love that second picture SO MUCH. Also, you always make posts like this very easy to understand, which is so appreciated!

    • Jamie

      Thanks Holly. My goal is that people can take something away from these posts no matter what level you may be at with your photography.

  3. Nisha

    Love both those pics! Just yesterday I was thinking about how I could get a photo of my dog while he is running. I don’t have a fancy camera with a shutter speed option, but I at least feel I have a better understanding now of how it works. Great post – thanks!

  4. Lisa Birnesser

    Love those pictures! Shutter speed can make or break a picture then. I was always confused about shutter speed. Thanks for explaining it so well!

  5. Olga Hermans

    GREAT pics!!….and a great explenation! Thanks!

  6. Marie Leslie

    Very clear and simple explanation. Remember, also, when using something other than a standard lens, the rule of thumb for hand-holding a camera (not using a tripod) is 1/the length of the lens. I find this helpful when teaching people that a tripod may be necessary.

  7. Lisa D.B. Taylor

    Great Instructions! And I also love that second photo!

  8. Dale Anne Potter

    GREAT post Jamie! I plan to be more aware of my shutter speed from now on – THANKS for this! AWESOME photos!!!

  9. Anita

    Informative and I love the picture of the horses :)

  10. Jennifer

    Love the pictures, especially the horses! Thanks for that easy explanation. I always vow to learn more about my camera each time I buy a new one, but never find the time. Your examples were really helpful.

    • Jamie

      There is a lot to learn. The hard part is always implementing =)

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