What is a shutter? It's less complicated than you might think. Every camera body has a shutter. Cameras have blades/curtains that open and close when you press the shutter button to expose your image.
What is Shutter Speed? <ul><li>Speed refers to how longs the shutters are open (i.e. how much light is let in)
It controls the motion or movement with in a photograph. Is the picture frozen or blurred?
Shutter speed is measured in seconds and fractions of seconds.
The longer the shutter is open the more light that is let in. </li></ul>
Controlling Shutter Speed Where do you go to control shutter speed on your camera? Look on the dial of your camera for TV (Canon) which stands for Time Value or S (Nikon) which stands for Shutter. On this exposure mode you choose the shutter speed and your camera will choose the aperture to give the correct exposure.
F-Stops Available Shutter Speeds <ul><li>Listed are the different shutter speeds. Some cameras will go longer or shorter depending on the brand.
Some cameras also have additional speeds in between.
With each stop you increase (double) or decrease (halve) the amount of light.
Photographers use 1/60 th as a middle ground. </li></ul>
Fast verses Slow <ul>Fast shutter speeds freeze movement making the subject appear sharp and crisp. Slow shutter speeds show movement so the subject blurs showing movement. </ul>
Fast Shutter Speeds When you are taking a picture and you want the subject to be sharp, you should always use a shutter speed of at least 1/60 th (1/125 is even better as it will assure a sharp photograph). The faster the subject is moving the faster you need your shutter speed to be if you want to freeze the movement. For example, if you are photographing a sporting event (or a toddler) when the subject is moving quickly, then you will want to use a fast shutter speed (possibly even 1/500 or 1/1000 for something moving really fast)
If there's an action you wish to freeze a fast shutter speed is a requirement, But if there is no action, a fast shutter speed is hardly noticable.
Slow Shutter Speeds If you want to show movement in a photograph by blurring the subject you would use a shutter speed below 1/60 like 1/30 or 1/15. The slower the shutter speed, the longer the sensor is exposed to light, the more light that is let in.
Bulb Bulb, abbreviated B, is a shutter speed setting that allows for long exposure times under the direct control of the photographer. With this setting, the shutter opens when you press the shutter and remains open until the shutter is pressed again. This setting is often used for photographing the night sky, fireworks, lightning, streets at night (creating streaks from moving cars). A tripod is almost always needed for this setting to reduce camera movement.
Camera Shake <ul><li>Also known as “motion blur”
When the shutter speed is so slow it blurs bot only the moving subject, but the whole photograph.
The blur is from the photographer shaking, not the subject moving.
Anything below 1/60 th can start to show camera shake if you don't have a truly steady hand.
You can tell the difference between camera shake and subject movement because nothing is in focus.
Using a tripod will eliminate camera shake. </li></ul>
Shutter Speed and Lenses <ul><li>One more thing to consider when choosing shutter speed is the focal length of the lens your using.
Longer lenses will accentuate the amount of camera shake you have, especially if the lens is heavy.
Because of this you'll need to choose a faster shutter speed.
The general rule of thumb is to choose a shutter speed with a denominator that is equal to or larger than the focal length of the lens.
For example, if you have a lens that is 60mm 1/60 is okay, but if you have a 200mm lens, you'll probably want to shoot at around 1/200. </li></ul>