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Shutter speed

This tag is associated with 4 posts

Fast Shutter Speed – Learn by Doing Photography

Learn by Doing Photography – Practice your photography skills with weekly photography assignments. I will post a new assignment every Friday, you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Photography Assignment #3 –  Fast Shutter Speed.

Something to remember about shutter speed:

fast shutter speed freeze motion while a slow shutter speed shows motion.

If you’re using Canon turn your dial to TV – shutter priority and if you’re using a Nikon turn your dial to S both will do the same thing. They put you in charge of the shutter speed and the camera with adjust the aperture and ISO.

I would at least go 1/250sec and faster on your shutter speed to freeze motion. It depends on a couple factors – how fast your motion is, what lenses you’re using. Try shooting in short bursts when the action is at its peak that way you have more of a chance capturing the exact moment you’re looking for.

Luckily my daughter is always up for jumping for the camera!


Digital Photography Freezing Motion – Great tutorial at AdoramaTV by Mark Wallace, he always does an excellent job on the tutorials!

Remember you can post your pictures at the bottom of this post or on the DigitalCamFan Facebook. If you have any questions please refer to the guidelines, if you have no questions jump right in any time!

Understanding how Shutter Speed and F-Stop work together

Shutter speed and f-stops are directly related to each other since both affect the amount of light that reaches the sensor. Shutter speed does so by the amount of time you leave the shutter open.  Aperture does so through the size of the lens opening. To make one-stop change with either your shutter speed or your f-stop  you have to make a change in the opposite direction with the other. So if you Open Up one stop (Let more light in) with your shutter  you must Stop Down one stop (Let less light in) with your aperture.

Now this example is cool:

All these exposure settings will the the same amount of light in as f/16 @ 1/125

  • f/11 @ 1/250
  • f/8 @ 1/500
  • f/5.6 @ 1/1000
  • f4 @ 1/4000
  • f/2 @ 1/8000

You work with these two settings – shutter speed and f-stop to determine how much light reaches your sensor. But they don’t only alter your light the faster shutter speed has the ability to freeze motion.

Understanding Exposure
Understanding F-Stop
Understanding Shutter Speed

Understanding Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed measures the length of time that your shutter stays open to allow light to expose the sensor. Shutter speeds are measurements of time that can range from 30 full seconds to 1/8,000 of a second. Of course that depends on which camera you have.

Full shutter speed increments are: 30, 15, 8, 4, 2, 1

Fractions of seconds are: 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000, 1/8000

Each Full Shutter speed is one stop apart from the one that precedes it and the one that follows it. Therefore each full shutter speed is one-half as much light as the one that precedes it and twice as much light as the one that follows it.

So if you have your shutter speed set at 1/30 of a second – that lets in twice as much light as 1/60
if you set your shutter speed at 1/30 of a second – that lets in one-half as much light as 1/15.

Today’s camera you can have 1/2 or 1/3 stop shutter speed increments.

Three Important Points about Shutter Speed:

  • To freeze motion you want to use a faster shutter speed, for example to stop someone running you would want to use at least 1/500. Depending on how fast they are running you can stop motion at 1/125 – 1/250 slower when panning for motion blur. (Thanks @cyberjim  for your tips on motion speed!)
  • To show motion you would use a much slower shutter speed, for example blurring the motion of running water you might want to choose around 1 second.
  • If you are holding the camera while taking a picture typically you don’t want to go under 1/60 second unless you have a tri-pod. You want to shoot fast enough to prevent camera shake to blur your photo. Shoot at a speed that is faster then your focal length. For instance a s00mm lens don’t shoot hand held less then 1/250 of a second of faster.

Understanding Exposure
Understanding F-Stop
Putting it together Shutter Speed and F-Stop

Playing with Water – Shooting water at high speed

Shooting water at high speed – I have been having fun trying to understand the shutter speed on my DSLR camera.  Really I am just playing around making a colorful mess in the kitchen, but having fun doing it.

I borrowed my son’s drum set, taking the kick drum I placed it on the counter then proceeded to pour water on it. After that I took the food coloring and put a few drop around the edges. While my friend began to play I began to take pictures. These were the best two! Still trying to understand light vs. shutter speed… Once I opened up the shutter speed the picture became to dark. I couldn’t get enough light for the shot most of them were to dark even with the drum set on the counter in front of a window. I wanted the shutter speed at least 1000, but it was just to dark.

So I used the flash on the camera, which is usually my last resort. Now when using the flash you don’t get the consecutive instant shots there is a delay between the shot. The highest my shutter would go was 1/200 sec on continuous with the flash on.

Will try again…