What is Shutter Speed

You’ve searched for what is shutter speed, how to set shutter speed, how shutter speed effects a photo, and probably many other questions about shutter speed. In this tutorial you will learn about a camera’s shutter speed and how it effects your photographs.

What is Shutter Speed?

Shutter speed on a camera controls the speed at which the shutter opens and closes. Think of the shutter as a door and behind that door is your DSLR camera’s sensor. When light hits this sensor it starts to record your image. The more light that is captured by the DSLR sensor makes your photos brighter. So if the shutter is left open for longer periods more light will be captured on your DSLR camera’s image sensor. The faster the shutter opens and closes the less light is captured on the DSLR’s photo sensor.

What are Side Effects of Shutter Speed?

Some of the side effects of using shutter speed to let in more light to your camera’s image sensor is that any movement while the shutter is opened is captured on the sensor as well. So if you the photographer move while using a slower shutter speed the entire photo will be motion blurred. If an object or person is moving while the shutter is open this movement will be captured on the image sensor as well and that object or person will be motion burred.

Some photographers purposely use a slower shutter speed to capture motion blur. To capture a jogger giving the illusion of running very fast. Some photographers use a slower shutter speed or long exposure time to capture running water to give the illusion of soft fluffy cotton look. There are many different photography tricks you can do with long exposure photography.

If you are using a slower shutter speed and not wanting to capture movement and have a motion blur on your photo I suggest using a tripod. When using a tripod you can use a slow shutter speed to let in more light and not get any camera movement as it is sitting solid on a tripod. I’m sure you should already know this as it’s common sense, but using a tripod with objects or people moving in the composition with a slow shutter will still capture the motion blur of the moving object(s) or person(s), the tripod will only keep from moving the DSLR camera and motion blurring the entire photo composition.

I suggest reading our other exposure tutorials, such as ISO speed exposure setting and aperture size setting. I hope this information on a camera’s shutter speed has helped you understand how a camera’s shutter and it’s shutter speed setting work. If you have any questions about a camera’s shutter speed, exposure, or any other photography questions, concerns, or suggestions, please do so below! Myself or some other photographer will be happy to answer your photography questions!






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