• Spingfield Falls, Pa_072011_0032

     Shutter Speed, the third part of the Exposure Triangle has several effects that help us.

    1. If slowed down, can cause motion or blur effect.

    2. If very fast, can stop a subject in motion.

    3. If fast enough, can help to create an image handholding the camera.

    An example of using a slow shutter speed with the camera on a tripod is the image above of the Springfield Waterfall. You can also do a pan of an object moving across in front of you, like a car, with a slow shutter speed and hand holding, to give a blur background effect while trying to keep the subject fairly sharp. Using a fast shutter speed is helpful when taking images at sporting events or birds flying to stop it in motion. There is also a point where the shutter speed can be too slow to handhold the camera steady to take an image. Typically using the focal length of the lens your using, you should use a shutter speed closest  to the lens length or faster. Example of this would be using a 100mm lens, you would likely be able to use shutter speed 1/90 and faster. Now with newer cameras and lenses, you can sometimes go slower using built-in vibration reduction mechanisms.

    Once again, when you change the shutter speed, it will affect other settings to keep your exposure correct. So we use these three setting; ISO, aperture, and shutter speed in creating an exposure and typically one will stay fairly constant while you change the other two for creative purposes.  Go out with your camera on Shutter Priority mode and watch how your aperture setting will change each time you change the shutter speed.