#6. shutter speed pt.1
as i mentioned before , to make it simple and easy to understand , shutter speed is the period you are going to open your window for so you can let the light come in .
i’ll go through what’s going in the camera in a fast way so you can understand more , basically there’s a mirror that reflects what the lens see to your view finder “that’s in DSLRs” and when you take the picture that mirror “or the shutter” goes up to let the light and what you saw reflects to the sensor , so shutter speed is how long you are letting your camera sensor receive the light .
if you got a DSLR , there are some adjustable numbers on your screen while you are shooting “1/4000 , 1/2000, 1/120,1/80 , 1” , 8”….etc” what that means ?
for example if it’s 1/4000 that means the shutter will go up and down for a speed of 1/4000 sec and let the sensor receive what the lens is seeing for 1/4000 sec , if it’s 1” that means it will do the same thing but for 1 sec , 30” means 30 sec … etc.
so what that means ? how do we use it ? when to shoot 1/4000 and when to shoot 30” ?
as i mentioned before “ in my first article “ , in each picture you are taking you should consider three main things :
- shutter speed
- aperture priority
- ISO sensitivity
after understanding every thing of those 3 things you’ll be able to shoot good quality pictures .
for example , you are shooting outside at the morning , that means there’s alot of light , so that means alot of light will come in your camera and the sensor will get a huge amount of light .
set your camera on A mode “aperture priority mode” make it for example F/5.6 , and watch the number of the shutter speed , it will be higher than 1/250 sec ,for example it’s 1/2000 , try to take a sample image ,then go to manual mode now (M) , keep your aperture at F/5.6 and change the shutter speed to 1/500 , take a picture of the same scene , you’ll see that your picture is almost white , why ? well alot of light got to your camera sensor so it got let’s say “blinded” .
another example for you to understand , you are indoor , and there’s no enough light , change the dial and make your camera on aperture priority mode , set it at f/8 , watch your shutter speed on the screen , it’ll be less than 1/125 , for example it’s 1/60 , take a picture , then set it back to manual mode and make your shutter speed 1/250 and the same f/8 , take a picture , it’ll be black . why ? no enough light got to the sensor .
it’s not only about how white or black your picture is , there’s some techniques and rules you need to stick with , so what can you do with shutter speed thing ?
for example your are shooting moving subjects , try it your self , set your camera dial on shutter speed mode , give it a shutter speed of 1/250 , take a sample image , then give it a shutter speed of 1/15 or 1 sec , take a sample image , what you’ll notice is when you took your shot with a shutter speed of 1/15 or 1 sec , your picture is blurred , what basically happened is that the your shutter let your camera sensor receive what’s in front of your lens for a speed that’s less than the speed of the moving subject , so it captured those movements during the open shutter and your shot is a result of some movements combined together for a specific period “ your shutter speed “ .
while it was clear and sharp when the shutter speed was 1/250 because your shutter speed was faster than those movements so it was able to freeze the motion .
what if there’s no enough light and you want to take a picture of someone , well after few articles you’ll know what you gonna do in that situation when you understand the shutter speed , aperture priority and ISO sensitivity , maybe you will need a flash , flash is not used only when the light is poor , sometimes we use it at the mid-day , i’ll talk about flash photography later .
so out of this example you need to understand this rule , don’t shoot moving subjects under a shutter speed of 1/60 “including faces like portraits , i know your models are sitting but they will blur and they won’t be sharp enough “.
another thing you need to measure if you are using a zoom lens , for example you are zoomed at 55mm , then your shutter speed should be more than 1/60 , 85mm , then your shutter should be over 1/100 and so on .
that’s for moving subjects , what if you are shooting still subjects “buildings„,etc” and there’s no enough light?
for example , you are shooting a building or a bridge and there’s no enough light , what you need to understand and think of is how to let more light get through your camera and fulfill your camera sensor with light , basically you will set a low shutter speed , for example 1/15 sec or 1 sec or 15 sec … etc , what will happen is your shot will be blurred , the reason of that is the moving subject now is your camera it self , you can’t keep your hands still 100% for less than 1/30 sec , what you need now is something called “ tripod “ , you have seen a tripod before for sure , will setup your camera on your tripod so you make sure that your camera won’t shake for any reason ( not including earthquakes ), if you don’t have a tripod with you , well then try to setup your camera on a bag , rock , anything that doesn’t move and stable cause you will end up hating photography if your camera got damaged .
hope you understood what shutter speed means now , practice on that and my next article will show you different situations for shutter speed and how make some effects on your shots using shutter speed technique .