Two weeks ago I introduced the exposure triangle and discussed aperture. Today, I will talk a little bit about shutter speed.
The shutter speed is also known as the exposure time. Basically, it is the length of time the shutter is open, exposing the sensor to light. If you are photographing a subject in a bright setting, the shutter speed would be faster as to let in less light. When photographing in a low light setting, a slower shutter speed is needed to allow more light to hit the sensor. If however you set the shutter speed too low, you will have to worry about motion blur from the subject or camera shake from hand holding the camera. One way to avoid camera shake is to use a tripod.
Shutter speeds can also be used in an artistic manner to slow motion or to show blur purposefully. An example of using a slow shutter speed for effect would be the streaks of light from moving traffic or to show the motion of a waterfall. A fast shutter speed can be used to stop an athlete in mid-air or freeze water drops.
Shutter speed is measured in seconds. An example of shutter speed is 1/1000 sec, meaning the shutter is only open for 1/1000 of a second. That’s pretty quick. Most DSLR cameras also allow the user to keep the shutter open for as long as they want.
Digitalcameraworld.com is a great resource to learn more about the exposure triangle and other photo related subjects.