Photography 101

Photography 101: Shutter Speed

Happy Monday!

I’ve had quite the weekend, which you’re already caught up on from my (very late) Shot of the Week post. I’m hoping to have a more appropriately scheduled week and not leave everything to the last minute (as per the usual). Fingers crossed!

Let’s get to it. Today we’re talking about shutter speed.

The Plan

  1. What is a shutter?
  2. What is shutter speed?
  3. Why adjust the shutter speed?

Keep in Mind

  • Underexposure will cause your photos to be dark.
  • Overexposure will cause your photos to be light.
  • The Shutter Button is used to take the image.

The Quick and Dirty

What is a shutter?

The shutter (or curtain) is two or three separate sheets in your camera that protect the sensor. Check out How do Camera Shutters Work by TheBeat for some great gifs.

What is shutter speed?

A closed shutter is the default position for your camera, in order to better protect the sensor. The shutter speed is the length of time the shutter remains open when you click the shutter button, and thus how long the light hits the sensor to create your image. If the shutter is open too long, your photos will be overexposed. If the shutter is open too little, your images will be dark.

Why adjust the shutter speed?

Changing the shutter speed can give you some great action shots! Speeds can be faster than 1/2000th of a second, which can make rushing water look still.

They can also be upwards of 30 seconds for long exposure photography.

Just remember, the longer the shutter is open, the more light will be let in. By adjusting the aperture and ISO (more on this subject to follow), your photos can be perfectly exposed every time

Good to Know: The B or S on your DSLR means bulb — the shutter will stay open as long as you hold the shutter button.


Shot of the Week

This week’s SOTW theme is: Action Shot.

Happy Shooting!


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