The Camera's Shutter Speeds

When and Why Should I Change Them?
By taking your camera off auto and playing with its shutter speeds, you can have a lot of fun and
get some great results to boot!
There are some times when you need fast speeds such as with sports or action photography, but
there are other times that you can slow things down a little and get some very nice results indeed.
Probably the most used setting for an SL used outside are !"#th$sec at %&. This is the average
reading for a normal day at 'S( !)). The speed of !"#th is ok for most sub*ects but for faster
moving ob*ects you will have a certain amount of blur. %& will ensure that whatever you focus on
will be sharp enough.
+ere is a ,uick list of shutter speeds starting from slowest upwards, what they can be used for
and the probable result-
• 30 seconds or more . /reat for night shots where you want the illumination of the city
lights to glow brightly, or to get the effect of milky smooth water from a waterfall at dusk
or dawn. 'f you keep the shutter open for a couple of hours and directed at the night sky,
you should end up seeing star trails on your image as the 0arth rotates.
• 1 second . 'f you are at a wedding reception or a dance and want a spooky but nice effect,
try this. +ave your flashgun charged and switched on to auto, set your cameras shutter
speed to ! second and aperture to appro1imately f.&. Take some shots whilst moving the
camera about and the effect of the flash will 2free3e2 your sub*ect, but the long shutter
speed will give some ama3ing background effects from the lights.
• 15th/30th/sec . 'f you have image stabilisation on your lens, this is about the absolute
limit that you can hand hold a shot. But using a tripod, this speed will give you a small
aperture creating large depth of field and is good for dusky or dawn landscapes. These
speeds are also good for panning shots of moving ob*ects such as cars. Panning creates a
feeling of speed with motion blur as the background blurs while the sub*ect stays in
focus.
• 60th!50th/sec . 4nything in this range is good for everyday general photography. 'n
normal light, these speeds should give sufficient depth of field from the aperture setting
for most sub*ects, whilst allowing you to hand hold your camera without causing camera
shake.
• 1000th"000th/sec . These speeds, if your camera has them, will free3e most ob*ects in
their tracks. 5ou can get really e1perimental here and keep your eyes open for fast
sub*ects that you can practice on! 5ou #ill need either bright sunshine, a high 'S(
67))$&))$!8))9, or fast lens 6f".&$!.79 to be able to shoot at these speeds whilst e1posing
correctly.
' have given some e1amples below, of shots with shutter speeds ranging from 8 seconds to
7)))th$sec. :on;t be afraid to really e1periment as if you are 2digital2 it won;t cost you a penny
e1tra!

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