Quick Understand Shutter Speed

Quick Understand Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is one of the most important thing if you want to fully mastering your camera and photography. Beside aperture and ISO. This is a quick understand shutter speed.

This article is part of series of long exposure photography.

What’s Shutter Speed?

Shutter speed mean the time it take for a photo to be captured or recorded by a camera.

How Shutter Speed Work?

You probably think that a camera take a shot at once in a single snap. But that’s not true. For a camera to take a photo, actually need time for it to capture the entire frame. So if a camera take a photo right at that second, its because that’s the only time it take to captured (or recorded) a photo. For example if a photo is taken right away, the shutter speed probably range from 1/60 sec or less (the fastest about 1/4000 second). It didn’t took even a second, right?

Deciding Shutter Speed

Shutter speed can range from the fastest of usually 1/4000 second to the slowest of 30 second. In Auto mode, you don’t have to be bother with such thing. But in Manual and Shutter Priority mode, you have to decide for your self which shutter speed to choose. To decide which shutter speed to be use, you must consider these things:

  1. How’s the situation around you?
  2. What kind of photograph do you want to take?

1. How’s the situation around you?

What I mean by situation is how the lighting of the location. Are you in dark place or in bright place?

The basic principal of shutter speed is “Slower shutter speed mean longer the camera sensor exposed to light.”

If you’re in a dark place, fast shutter speed can cause underexpose photo. But slow shutter can increase the time for light to expose the camera sensor and increase the exposure.

In 1.3 second
Make the shutter speed slower by 10 second

If you’re in a bright place, slow shutter speed can cause overexpose photo. But faster shutter speed can limited the time for light to expose the camera sensor and decrease the exposure.

in 1/13 second
make the shutter speed faster by 1/80 second

Following this principle can give you a high quality photography.

2. What kind of photograph do you want to take?

In the end it depend on what kind of photography you want to make. If you want to make best looking quality photo, follow the principle above. But there’s many photography trick that require you break such principle. Especially when it come to motion object.

Anything that move is motion object. Like water, car, people, wind, and any motion element.

Take a look at the image below:

In fast shutter speed
In slow shutter speed

That’s one of the example of shutter speed trick. There’s the different between when taking a motion object with faster shutter speed and slow shutter speed.

Faster shutter speed can give the most sharper and freeze-like shot. As if a object that suppose to be moving, don’t look like moving at all.

Slower shutter speed can reduce the sharpness and focus of the motion object. But can give the sense of motion of an object, usually called a motion blur.

To remind you all, that shutter speed doesn’t work alone. But together with Aperture and ISO.


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