What is Shutter Speed

Ah ha,  moving quickly on to shutter speed.

And I say quickly because right now I genuinely believe if you're learning photography, learning how to use your camera then sticking with Aperture priority is a real must until you have mastered light and composition.

What's shutter speed

However there are some of you who will want to move on and be a little more creative.

For this reason I will, this week, briefly cover shutter speed and then next week will give you some examples.

Simply it is how long your camera takes to capture an image

The shutter is a curtain in front of the camera sensor.  It stays closed until the camera fires and then the shutter opens and exposes to the light which has passed through the lens. Once the sensor has collected the light, the shutter closes and stops the light from hitting the sensor.

In brief.  Shutter speed is the time the shutter is open at a given setting.

It works in conjunction with your aperture and ISO to provide you with a well-exposed photo.

The shutter speed can be set to freeze movement (fast shutter speed) or blur movement (slow shutter speed).

Fast shutter speed to freeze movement of bee
The image above the shutter speed would have been set at something like 1000th (fast shutter speed) to freeze the movement of the bee.
I would have focused on the bee and set a wide aperture of probably F4 to ensure the bee was the sharpest part of the image.

The image below I wanted to freeze the bubbles so would have set the shutter, once again, at about 1000th.  Sometimes you will need to up the ISO to ensure you allow enough light into the camera.
Fast shutter speed to freeze movement of bubbles
An easy way of learning this, I think, is 
  • to watch that little gauge on your screen.  
  • In aperture priority set the aperture you want
  • look at the screen on your camera to see what the camera has set for your shutter speed.
  • you can use this as a starting point and then switch to Manual and experiment
Use the guide on your camera screen to help you

Remember the little gauge we talked about a few weeks ago.  It's on the bottom of my screen and in my viewfinder.  Quite possibly it will be in a similar place on your camera.

Have fun with camera settings and practice

Working out each of these settings and how they work for you will take practice.  When I was learning I would set my aperture, take a picture and if I didn't get what I envisaged, I'd change to Manual setting and play around with shutter speed and ISO until I got what I wanted.

Have some fun with this, practice freezing movement.  Remember this is the digital age and any images you're not happy with you can delete once uploaded to your computer. :)

“The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”
— Scott Lorenzo

Go have some fun this week.  The weather forecast is good and the evenings are getting lighter so a great time to get out with your camera and practice.

Remember 'photography isn't about what camera or lens you use it's about how you see an image and creating pictures which will bring you joy when you look back'  That's my quote :)

Love Jan x