Shooting in Manual: Understanding Shutter Speed

March 12, 2015

We have talked about exposure and aperture in the past week, and now let’s address shutter speed.
Shutter speed controls how long the light entering the aperture exposes the sensor.  Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds.

A fast shutter speed (such as 1/500) freezes movement.

A slow shutter speed (such as 1/50) blurs movement.

Aperture: f/4 | Camera: Nikon D800 | Focal Length: 85mm | ISO: 100 | Shutter Speed: 1/500s

When shooting kids and trying to not have blur, I recommend keeping that shutter speed at 250 and above (which means you will probably have to pump up that ISO and open up your aperture to keep the image exposed correctly).  


Aperture: f/16 | Camera: Nikon D800 | Focal Length: 85mm | ISO: 80 | Shutter Speed: 1/30s

Shooting at slower shutter speeds requires as strong stance, a steady hand, and easy breathing (I even hold my breath).  A tripod is a great option to keep that camera steady.

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