Shutter Speed

25 / 05 / 2017

Shutter speed

Shutter Speed is a part of exposure triangle,the other two parts are ISO and Aperture.Shutter speed helps us to create dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion.In this article,we would try to elaborate everything about shutter speed in a simple language.

Camera Shutter

A camera Shutter is a curtain which is  placed in front of the camera sensor that stays closed until you click.When you click an image,the shutter opens and fully exposes the camera sensor to the light that passes through the lens aperture. After the light reach the sensor,the shutter closes,stopping the light from hitting the sensor.The button you press to click an image is called “Shutter button” because it triggers the shutter to open and close.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed refers to the length of time a camera shutter is open to expose light into the camera sensor.Shutter speed is also known as “exposure time”.

Landscape photographers use slow shutter speeds to create a sense of motion on waterfalls,sea’s,river,clouds etc. ,while everything else in the frame is focused. 

Motion Blur

Slow shutter speed can create an effect called “Motion Blur”,in which moving objects appear blurred along the direction of the motion.

Measuring Shutter Speed

Shutter speeds is measured in fractions of a second,when they are under a second.For example : ¼ means a quarter of a second,while 1/300 means three-hundred of a second.DSLRs can have shutter speeds up to 1/4000th of a second generally,while some have higher shutter speeds of 1/8000th of a second and faster.The longesr shutter speed on most DSLRs is 30 seconds.

Slow,Fast and Long Shutter speeds

Slow shutter speed is to be the slowest shutter speed that you can handle without camera shake. 


Fast shutter speed

Fast shutter speed refers to whatever it takes to freeze action. For Example- 1/500thof a second,1/1000th of a second,1/2000th of a second and above. Fast shutter speed are use in Sports photography,Wildlife photography etc. 


Long Shutter speeds

When the shutter is open for longer duration ,for example:- 1 sec,2 sec ,5 sec or more.It refers to long shutter speed.you have to use a tripod while shooting with long shutter speed to get acceptably sharp images (for low-light/night photography or to capture movement).


Setting the Shutter Speed

Camera’s adjust there shutter speed mostly through in-camera metering.On “Auto” mode,both shutter speed and aperture (f-stop) are automatically selected by the camera.While capturing images in Aperture Priority mode,you have to set the aperture,and the camera will automatically set the shutter speed.

Ways to manually set the shutter speed:

1.Set your camera to “Shutter Priority” mode,in which you have to set the shutter speed and the camera will automatically select the aperture.

2.Set your camera to “Manual” mode,in which you set aperture and shutter speed manually. 

Finding Shutter Speed

Most DSLRs display shutter speed as fraction of second.when the shutter speed is slower or equal to one sec it will display like 1” or 3”.