Shutter Speed, In Photography.

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Shutter Speed

The Biggest rule when taking slow shutter speed shots is to always use a TRIPOD.

Shutter Speed is the amount of time that the shutter is open for.

  • Shutter speed is measured in seconds/ fraction of seconds. The bigger the dominator the faster the speed. This means if you were to have a shutter speed of 1/1000 then it is much faster than 1/30
  • Most of the time you will probably use 1/60th, Anything slower than this you will begin to get camera shake which will make the image blurry. If you were to use a shutter of less than 1/60th then using a tripod is best so you do not get camera shake.
  • Most cameras have shutter speeds of 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1,60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8 etc. 

When changing the shutter speed you also need to change the Aperture as you still need the same light exposure, this means that your photos will not be underexposed or overexposed. For example, increasing the shutter speed by one step and decreasing the aperture by one step should give you the same exposure level.

Shutter Speed Up                                          Aperture Down                                                                                              Shutter Speed Down                                     Aperture Up 


  • Some cameras allow you to have a Shutter speed that is very slow, such as 1 second, 10 seconds, and 30 seconds. These are used in very low light, when your going for a special effect. An example of this is bellow, this is a photo that I played around with the Shutter speed on a busy motorway at night time. It creates a trail with the car lights while also keeping a exposure. I did turn down the brightness in post so the Trails of light were more effective.

Creating Movement using shutter speed

  • The option to create movement or to make them look still allows the photographer to show moving objects within photos. 
  • To freeze movement you want a fast shutter speed and to blur the movement you want a slower shutter speed.
  • What speed the shutter is set at depends on how face the movement is and how much you  want the photo to blur.

Depending on what focal length you are using also depends on what you set your shutter speed to. Longer focal lengths will capture more shake so you need to use a faster shutter speed. for example, 50mm focal length and a shutter of 1/60th is ok, A 200mm focal length you will want a shutter of 1/250th

This Photo has both a still and movement abject. This shows what changing the shutter speed can achieve. This is done by the lady standing completely still and then having a slow shutter speed, allowing the train to blur as it goes past. It isn't completely blurred so you are able to make out it is a train. I would say the Shutter Speed that was used would of been around 1/250 or slower.

About the author


I am 19 years old and currently at staffordshire University where I study Media(Film)Production. I studied Film at college for two years where i gained many experiences. I enjoy many roles in the film industry, But I hope to have a career as a Producer, Gaffer, Sound or Camera. While…

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