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Photography - Using Shutter Speed

Updated on February 13, 2018

Photography - Shutter Speed

This article will explain how the manual setting of your shutter speed can be useful and what effects it enables you to do. It should also clarify the alterations that changing the shutter speed can do to your photos. The image shown is of a slow shutter speed (8 seconds) where cars are driving giving the line effect which is in fact their headlights being blurred across the shot.

Short Shutter Speeds

A short shutter speed will take the photo very quickly, it is mainly used for photographing sports or fast moving objects like cars, the short speed doesn't blur like long shutter speeds as the amount of light let through the lens is reduced alot. However using something like a 20,000th of a second would give you a very dark if not black image as the shutter doesn't have much time to let light through. Increasing your image ISO should counteract this but will leave a lot of noise in the image.

Using Automatic Shutter Speeds

When taking photos with a digital camera you will usually get the choice to set the shutter speed or have it automatic, to set your own you usually have to go to 'M' on the dial for 'Manual'. Setting your own will give you more control over your image but if you do decide to leave it as it is this will briefly explain what is happening. Your ISO will usually be on 'Auto 400' which will keep the light constant, the shutter speed will then vary depending on the the amount of light available, if your shooting at night the shutter speed will be increased to let more light in but can leave a blurry image if you are shaking or if there is a moving object in the image. If your in a bright place the shutter speed will be reduced so the image is white, this is the better sort of shot as their is alot lower chance of blur and there is smaller need for the ISO to be high increasing the overall quality of your photo.

Long Shutter Speeds

A long shutter speed is what gave me the image shown in this, it keeps the lens exposed longer so more light is able to enter the shot, it great for night shots but is very hard to use when holding your camera if you don't want a blurry shot. If you use a tripod you can have still crisp images as long as an object isn't moving in the background, if you want to produce something similar to my shot you have to set your camera up on a tripod, place it facing a fairly bust road and set your ISO to 64, your Aperture to 8.0, and you shutter speed to 8" (8 seconds). I then enhanced the colors and increased the contrast using Photoshop.

Give it a click!

Give it a click!
Give it a click!

© 2011 JonathanPeterss

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