The Exposure Triangle In Photography - Shutter Speed

The Exposure Triangle In Photography - Shutter Speed

john mclenaghan photography and shutter speed

Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed is the amount of time your camera’s shutter is open. This allows light to pass through to the sensor. It's measured in seconds or fractions of a second.  Together with aperture and ISO, it makes up the exposure of any photograph.

Slower Shutter Speed

Slow shutter speed allows for more light to pass through, but your images may be blurry. You are allowing more time for things to move around or for your hands to shake.

Motion blur!

Tip: Try using a tripod to stabilize the shot.

Fast Shutter Speed

Faster shutter speed allows less time to go by, so you can freeze a subject without the motion blur. However, less light gets through to the sensor, so your exposure will be darker.

Less Motion Blur!

What Do Those Shutter Speed Numbers on My Camera Mean?

You may hear a photographer refer to a “stop of light”. A "stop" in shutter speed allows for twice as much (or in the other direction, half as much) light to hit the image sensor.

Example 1

Shutter Speed Getting Slower.

If you start at 1/60th of a second, the next "stop" will be 1/30th of a second, then 1/15, and so on. Each having twice as much time as the last stop. Your shutter speed is getting slower!

Example 2

Shutter Speed Getting Faster.

If you go the other way, starting at 1/60th of a second the next stop is 1/125th, then 1/250th, then 1/500th and so on. Half as much time as the last stop. Your shutter speed is getting faster!

By learning about shutter speed, you can shoot photographs in low light & harsher light. You can shoot things that are in motion or standing still!



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