Understanding Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is responsible for creating dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion.

Shutter speed, also known as exposure time, which stands for the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera's sensor.

With a fast shutter speed, it will help you to freeze motion allowing you to get a crisp/sharp image!

With a slower shutter speed, it will allow you to create an effect called motion blur.

Shutter speeds are normally measured in fractions of a second, when they are under a second (i.e.1/4 means a quarter of a second, while 1/250 means one two-hundred-and-fiftieth of a second).

Your minimum shutter speed should rarely be less than your focal length, unless using a tripod.

So for example:
a 50mm lens- your shutter speed shouldn't go below 1/50th of a second while being handheld.
an 85mm lens- your shutter speed shouldn't go below 1/85th of a second while being handheld.

This rule of thumb should be used to prevent blurry images.

Another general rule of thumb when shooting moving subjects (i.e. children) to use a shutter speed of at least 1/250th of a second or higher. Some photographers use 1/500th of a second for child photography.
I personally can get away with 1/250th of a second with my older children, but not my youngest child (because he's so active).

You should play around with your shutter speed to see how a fast shutter speed works vs. a slower shutter speed.

When to use a slow shutter speed to get awesome effects ... Waterfalls, rivers, hose with water flowing out of it. This will blur the motion of the water creating a very beautiful look. You will need a tripod if you have unsteady hands like me, because you will need to use a very slow/long shutter speed (for example a 5 second exposure time).

If you have any questions regarding Shutter Speed please feel free to leave them below.
Thanks for reading!

Tori D.



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