Photo Tip Friday – January 23 – Shutter Speed

Things really started clicking for me when my DH bought me a digital SLR camera for Christmas one year. I had a 35mm film SLR camera, but I was so worried about wasting the film that I never took it off the automatic setting. Once the digital one was in my hands though I felt free to experiment and that's when life changed for me with photography. When you first hear the terms, shutter speed, aperture, F-stop and all those terms it can be quite intimidating, but once you grasp the basic concepts and start playing it all starts to click.

So for today, just one thing. Shutter speed. I think the best way to describe it is how long your shutter stays open.  The longer it's open the more blurred motion in your photo will be and vice versa. The shorter the time it's open the more frozen the motion in your photo will be.  If you have a digital SLR you can shoot in shutter priority mode to control your shutter speed.  You set your shutter speed and the camera will set the rest for you. It's a great way to begin your journey to shooting manually. Of course when you're shooting in full manual mode you have to know how shutter speed works with aperture in order to get a perfect exposure, but we'll discuss that another time. 

Photographing a waterfall or fountain is a great way to see the difference that changing your shutter speed can make. These photos have no artistic value really, but for the sake of seeing the difference  they will work. Here in this first photo I used a shutter speed of  of 1/320, a faster shutter speed and you can see how it 'froze' some of the drops of water.

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And in this second photo I used a shutter speed of 1/30. Just a tip. If you are planning on using a slower shutter speed it's best to use a tripod. I didn't have mine with me when I snapped this, but I think you get the idea.

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