In Focus: Know What Shutter Speed is and How is Used

What is shutter speed? How shutter speed is used?
Shutter speed

First, we define shutter. Shutter is a small “curtain” inside the camera which quickly flicks over the image sensor. It serves as a door allowing light to enter and exposing the imaging sensor. This will result to how bright or dark the image will be. The “actual time that the shutter is open” is the shutter speed.

Now, with the basic information about shutter speed, how to use it correctly could be easy. Exposing the image sensor with light is how basically the image is being recorded in the camera. This means that exposing it longer could give a brighter image. It also means that  shorter exposure period could give a darker image.

Seconds or fraction of a second is the unit of measure for shutter speed. In general, if the desired exposure is more than 30 seconds there is one or two other settings for long exposure namely Bulb and Time.

It is not only about the brightness or darkness of the image but also about how sharp the image is. This is very true that fast shutter is needed in taking photo of a moving object because the image could be blurry if not. It is important to bear in mind that fast shutter speed will give a sharper image but also a darker one, slow shutter speed will give a blurry and brighter image. Balance those indicators. Just carefully determine it with respect to the environment (light source, motion, effects, theme, etc.).

Shutter speed is part of the Exposure Triangle that can provide a better image once correctly set according to what the photographer wants.

Exposure Triangle
Exposure Triangle

We hope that this article provided you with handful of knowledge to help you in your photography. Just keep in mind always that you can experiment and try different techniques to gain more experience and gradually educate yourself. Do not hesitate to ask, read, and try to copy the good practices of other photographers. Keep shooting and share your learning to other budding photographers.

Exposure Triangle Cheat Sheet
Cheat Sheet for the Exposure Triangle






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