Take It From Me: Photography: Understanding Shutterspeed (Guest Post)

April 10, 2013

Photography: Understanding Shutterspeed (Guest Post)

Learning how to shoot MANUAL:

As I had mentioned in my last guest post, I am teaching the basics of shooting in Manual (M) on your DSLR camera. I am sure when you bought your camera, you were told you that camera will do everything for you, all you have to do is push the button. Well this is true to some extent. You can leave your camera on Auto and let it do everything for you. BUT keep in mind, it will not yield you the best possible images and it does not allow you to shoot creatively. Your pictures will look like every generic photo out there. Shooting in Manual (M) is so empowering, once you get the hang of it, you will LOVE it. The three KEY elements that work together to create an unforgettable image are ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed. 

So with that in mind, today we are going to be covering... Shutter Speed.

**Click here if you didn’t get to read last months post, Photography: Understanding ISO**

Understanding Shutterspeed- Beginners Guide: 

Depending on your camera/lens ect, it will offer different shutter speeds that you can choose from, so if your numbers are a little different then what I post (as examples), do not be alarmed!!

So, Shutter Speed is the amount of time the shutter stays open for the light to fall on the image sensor to create an image. Shutter speed is connected with the focal length of the lens- so depending on the lens you are using, your shutterspeed will vary. The higher the shutterspeed- the darker the image, the less blur there will be. The lower the shutterspeed- the brighter/lighter the image, the more (possible) blur there could be. 

Examples of when you would want to use a lower shutterspeed: 
-You are in a dark area 
- You want to give your image a sense of movement (a little blur) 

Examples of when you would want to use a higher shutterspeed: 
- You are outside and it is very bright out 
- You don’t want any blur/movement in your photo, you want a crisp image.

When starting out, I don’t recommend shooting anything lower than 1/125sec. You may find that you are taking photos of your children/pets, but they are just not turning out crisp and sharp, this is most likely the main reason why- your shutterspeed is too low.

A lot of people will try to see ‘how low they can go’ (1/100sec -1/8sec(or lower)), not really understanding the purpose of why/when you would use a low shutter speed. This will cause you to end up frustrated that all the photos you are taking are turning out blurry. 

When photographers are shooting at a low shutter speed, that is when tripods come into play, but if I am being honest, I have never and probably never will use a tripod for shooting. It’s not my style, I find it too constraining. I use my own body as a tripod to help me not shake when shooting at a low shutter speed (because when you are shooting at a low shutter speed, any movement with the camera will cause blur/movement in your photos).

So if you are wanting to document your children playing, don’t attempt it lower than 1/125 sec, unless you are a skilled pro with no shake, you won’t want to attempt it, you will find yourself getting frustrated because your photos are unintentionally blurry. Keeping your shutter speed at 1/125 sec or above will allow you to keep your photos crisp (if not higher)... but by all means, experiment and see what you discover!

(Image courtesy –google images-  Captureyour365)

Alright my little kitty cats, go and explore your camera using what you have learned regarding ISO and SHUTTERSPEED.

Next time we will be covering the last leg of the triangle- APERATURE. 

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below, I will do my best to answer them.  

Stay lovely, 

International Award Winning photographers, Radelle & myself (Kari) are the ladies behind Eternal Reflections Photography; Edmonton’s premier wedding photography studio. Serving both Vancouver & Edmonton, their view of wedding photography is romantic, soft with a dash of glamour. Eternal Reflections is best known for its romantic style being fused with a very fashion-inspired elegance. 

Their weddings have been published in the most prestigious wedding magazines and blogs world wide & was one of the Most Inspiring Photographers of 2011 by Wedding Bells and are considered one of Grace Ormonde’s Wedding Style elite vendors. Our wedding photography has taken us all around the globe- Italy, Japan, Hawaii, Cuba, Costa Rica, and Mexico numerous times.


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