A woman who works with her hands is a LABORER; a woman who works with her hands and head, a CRAFTSMAN; but a woman who works with her hands, her head and her heart is an ARTIST. ~ St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, March 15, 2010

What Shutter Speed to Use

The Shutter speed you use can have a huge influence on your photographs.
If you use a too slow shutter speed your photographs will be blurred. Some novice photographers think that their photographs are out of focus but sometimes they just used a too slow shutter speed and their photographs are blurred.

If you use an automatic camera it will normally either pops up the flash automatically or have a flashing indicator which warns you when the light is too low to take a photograph. If there is not enough light the camera will use a longer shutter speed in order to have enough light to record. This long shutter speed is what cause the blur effect since you cannot hold the camera still enough in your hands.

If you use a shutter speed of anything less than 1/60 of a second you must use a tripod or any other object to support your camera. The minimum hand held shutter speed also depends on the length of your lens. For up to 80mm you will get away with 1/60th of a second but if you use a longer lens you will need an even faster minimum shutter speed. Like when you use a 200mm lens it would be best to put your camera on a tripod for anything slower than 1/150th of a second.

You can also use a slow shutter speed to your advantage.

If you put your camera on a tripod and use a slow shutter speed to picture a waterfall or stream, you can create a soft effect of the water.

Soft Waterfall
With a fast shutter speed we can freeze the motion in a picture.

Freeze the motion
To freeze motion of a picture, the shutter speed must be fast enough. You will need a shutter speed of at least 1/250 to freeze the motion of a running person successfully.

Even if you are photographing flowers in the wind you need a fast shutter speed to freeze the motion and get a sharp picture.

We can also use a slow shutter speed to enhance the feeling of motion in a picture. The picture on the left was taken at 1/60. The motion of the bike was followed as it moved pass. We call this “panning”.


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