Working with Camera - Understanding Shutter Speed

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The exposure of your camera or the light sensed by your camera’s sensor can be controlled by changing the aperture and the shutter speed of the camera. A cover or a shutter over the sensor that is used to manage how long the light strikes the sensor is known as controlling the shutter speed. Creatively manipulating the shutter speed can give you unique captures.

Working with Camera - Understanding Shutter Speed

All cameras of various sizes and shapes possess shutter speeds. In basic model cameras, the shutter speeds cannot be changed. And in more advanced cameras, the shutter speed operation is automatic and not susceptible to override. Certain advanced cameras, namely Samsung NX series and DSLRs have automatic shutter speeds which can be changed to a certain extent, creatively to capture great pictures of good quality.

By controlling or changing the shutter speed of your camera, you will be able to:

  • Control the movement of the elements within the frame.

  • Freeze the subject in the frame

  • Blur the movement of the subject in the frame

  • Combine a blur and the movement using the flash

Working with Camera - Understanding Shutter Speed

Panning or following a moving subject with slow shutter speed and controlling the shutter, would give you a picture where the subject would seem, moving very fast, as the background will be blurred. To keep the subject blurred and the background still, the camera has to be in a fixed position before pressing the shutter button at a slow shutter speed. You have to be quite skillful if you want to do this right.

Getting the background detail flawlessly and taking care not to blur the subject too much is quite difficult. Try using a smaller aperture if you can’t decrease the shutter speed enough to get what you want in the picture. This is applicable only if you are using your camera in daylight. During the night time, long shutter speeds can be used.

Working with Camera - Understanding Shutter Speed

If you need to capture a moving subject in daylight, then using the fast shutter speed would be a good idea as it can capture the image with the subject stopped in its tracks. Freeze objects in mid air, using the slow shutter speed and then use flash. Combining fast and slow shutter speeds with flash can get you awesome captures.

For cameras with adjustable zoom during the exposure, you can use the zoom burst feature. With the camera mounted and fixed on a tripod, adjust the shutter speed and then fire the shutter simultaneously rotating the zoom so as to move it from one end of the range of focal length to the other. If you can do this, you will get cool images with utmost clarity

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