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How To Use Shutter Speed For Taking Stunning Photos?

Shutter speed is an important setting in photography that many photographers like using to get wonderful shots. However, a small number of them are not fully conversant with this setting and how it can revolutionize their photography. The shutter speed setting in your camera is pivotal in altering the brightness of your pictures and forming wonderful effects. The shutter speed executes this function through blurring motion or freezing action.

The shutter speed finds relevance because of the shutter at the front of the camera sensor, which opens and closes to allow or limit light entry. The shutter opens when the shutter button allows light to get in and reach the sensor. Once the sensor is done trapping the light, the shutter closes to stop the further light entry into the sensor.

Shutter Speed For Taking Stunning Photos

Shutter speed can bring wonderful effects on photos, such as blurring to signify the direction of motion, as used in many adverts. A slow shutter speed exposes the sensor the longest, and if fast, the sensor is only exposed for short period. Therefore, shutter speed is the duration of time when the shutter remains open to expose the camera sensor to incoming light.


When you should use shutter priority

It is good to know the scenarios under which you may have to prioritize certain shutter speeds on taking photos. Generally, a fast or short shutter speed (1/500 or 1/1000) is most applicable for freezing motion in moving objects such as trees bending under the wind. On the other hand, a slow or long shutter speed (approximately one second) indicates the motion of mobile objects such as cars by blurring effect.

When taking photos in these scenarios, it’s good to use a tripod for the stability and support of the camera. Shooting at night may require you to use a longer shutter speed to give enough time for the little light to saturate the sensor.

How to use shutter speed in taking stunning photos

The process begins with light entering the camera through the aperture and then reaching the mirror, concealing the shutter. When the shutter button is pressed, the shutter opens to allow light to land on the sensor, converting it into an electrical signal to create a digital image. The shutter has two curtains that reset upwards when the set time elapses. The work at hand will determine whether you use a slow or fast shutter speed.

A slow shutter speed of up to 30 seconds or slower allows more light to enter because the shutter remains open for the longest time. This shutter speed is great for photographing in low-light situations with limited movement. Movement in the scene may lead to blurring. Slow shutter speed is a great tool for blurring motion.

You need a fast shutter speed if you intend to freeze any action photos to get detailed images. A fast shutter speed also comes in handy when you have a lot of light in the scene to avoid overexposure. Set the flash speed in tandem with the shutter speed to avoid getting black bands on the images when using a fast shutter speed. Black bands result when the shutter closes before the flash is projected on the sensor.

How To Use Shutter Speed

How to find shutter speed on your camera

You could have a problem locating your camera’s shutter speed if you have not used it before. It’s not that hard. It all depends on your camera model. Camera models with a top panel have shutter speed encircled on the top left corner. The cameras without top panels have the shutter speed setting on the bottom left corner of the viewfinder.

If your camera lacks the top panel and viewfinder, you are most likely to find the shutter speed at the back of the screen. If you don’t find the shutter speed by all the above methods, don’t panic. You can find the shutter speed by setting the camera to Aperture Priority mode. Put off the Auto ISO mode and note the number that appears when the camera is pointed to dark and bright areas.

How shutter speed is measured

Shutter speeds less than one second are expressed as fractions of a second. The fastest speed could be speedier than 1/8000th of a second and the slowest more than 30 seconds. Different cameras have different shutter speed capacities based on the manufacturer’s design. Consider the specifications on your camera to know what shutter speed it can achieve. Very long exposure may require you to use remote triggers on your camera. At the end of it you will have measured the shutter speed.

How To Use Shutter Speed For Stunning Photos

How to change the shutter speed

Changing the shutter speed on your camera depends on whether the camera is operating on manual or shutter priority mode. Manual mode allows you to set the aperture and shutter speed manually. In contrast, in shutter priority mode, you set the shutter speed manually, and the camera sets for you the aperture automatically.

The aperture determines the quantity of light entering the camera. If you are shooting in a dark scene, a faster shutter speed may require you to use a wider aperture to increase the amount of light reaching the sensor within that short time. Because of this, the shutter speed setting goes hand in hand with aperture settings.


Shutter speed is an important setting in your camera and can revolutionize how you create pictures in your photography. It is essentially useful when taking action pictures where you can create blur and freeze motion to get better effects in your photos. You are now aware that a fast shutter speed comes in handy in freezing motion in pictures, while a slow shutter speed is helpful in blurring motion in your photos.

Using the Shutter speed setting properly will give your work a niche, whether you do it as a hobby or profession. Check your camera to ensure it allows you to use this effect when you need it. The tips we have given in this article will guide you to ensure you can successfully apply shutter speed in your photography.

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