Shutter Speed- What is it and how to use

In Photography Tips
One of the important component of the exposure triangle(ISO, aperture, Shutter speed), shutter of a camera is quiet similar to the eyelids of human and shutter speed thus comparable to the blinking of the eyes (3/10 or 4/40 secs). But a camera has a wide range of shutter speed that can extend from 30 minus to 1/2000 or even 1/4000 in some cameras. Being one of the main element to adjust exposure of a picture, shutter speed and aperture can be simultaneously controlled once the ISO is set. It is the perfect combination of shutter speed and aperture that brings out the best photograph out of a scenario or a subject. Hence knowing about shutter speed and having a clear concept of this topic is a must to excel as a photographer.

Introduction- Shutter and Shutter speed:

Shutter speed basically determines the amount of light reaching the sensor of the camera. A camera shutter is a curtain in front of the camera sensor that stays closed until the camera fires. After the sensor is done collecting the light, the shutter closes immediately, stopping the light from hitting the sensor. The button that fires the camera is also called “shutter” or “shutter button”, because it triggers the shutter to open and close. Shutter speed, also known as “exposure time”, stands for the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor. More be the time for which the shutter is open, more will be the amount of light hitting the sensor. Shutter speeds are typically measured in fractions of a second, when they are under a second.  If the shutter speed is 1/100 it means the shutter will be open for 1/100th of a second and 0″3′ means it will be open for 3 secs. Shutter speed it responsible for dramatic impact of the appearance and quality of a picture especially if any movement is involved. A slow shutter speed gives you a blurred image and a fast shutter speed gives you a freeze motion.When you shoot in “Shutter priority” mode, you set the Shutter speed, while the camera automatically sets the aperture. Lets know more about the types of shutter speed:

    Slow shutter speed:

Amazing beach for relaxing

Slow shutter speed has induced a silky and smooth touch to the water.

This lets your shutter open for a long duration of time, letting the light from the source to hit the main sensor for a longer time, creating a ‘motion blur’. 1/15, 1/8, 1/2, 1 and  low are considered to be slow shutter speed. To achieve even slower shutter speed, one can use the mode of shutter speed which is know as a ‘bulb’ in some devices. With this setting, you can control the shutter with the click button.
Though the image obtained is blur if the subject is moving fast, slow shutter speed is useful for capturing light trails, or if capturing a scenario in night or dim light.

     Fast Shutter Speed:

Fast shutter speed freezes the moment and bring out the energy imbibed in them 

Stopping the time around camera and capturing instantaneous motion, fast shutter speed seem to ‘freeze the motion’. In fast shutters speed the opening and closing duration of shutter is less, so the sensor is exposed to motion for very small time thus, the sensor only senses instantaneous motion. 1/1000, 1/500 ,1/250 etc and higher are considered as fast shutter speed.

        Some Specific Shutter Speed:

1/4000th would be apt if capturing sports, freezing the motion and keeping your depth of field to a minimum. However, even a 1/1000th of a second will work for most field sports.

1/500th used when capturing subjects at an outdoor family picnic while maintaining an aperture that ensures sharpness and an ISO setting that keeps noise to a minimum.

1/250 would be very nice for shooting a landscape, urban life or wildlife. On the other hand, if you are panning with a race-car, even 1/125th will improve your shot by keeping the car sharp and blurring the background.

1/60th to 1/30th for indoor photography using natural light. However, subject movement will show up as a blur and image stabilization won’t help.

One second or longer will do very nice night-time cityscapes from a tripod. As you approach ten seconds, people can walk through your picture and not even show up in the final image. Up to 30 seconds works very well for fireworks, aurora, lightning and meteor showers.

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