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Thank you for reading our Blog posts! We currently are in a series regarding Photography Basics. If you didn’t have a chance to read Part 1, you can read it here.


As we have established in the previous posts, a camera’s elements are as follows: 1) ISO, 2) Shutter Speed, 3) Aperture, and 4) Lighting. In this particular post, we’ll be getting into Shutter Speed. Again, as a note: Get your camera out for this Blog post, as this will give you even further understanding of how your camera works! so here goes:


Shutter Speed

In a nutshell, the “Shutter” of a camera is the mechanism (or “shhh” sound) that you hear whenever you take a picture. The sound can be very short or long in nature. On your camera, there is a setting called “TV”. Called “Time Value,” this setting controls the “movement” in your picture…. Now, before we show you some examples, there are a number of settings for this particular feature, and they go by fractional numbers. For instance, you would see numbers such as 2″, 1″, 1/10, 1/20, 1/60, 1/125, 1/200, 1/400, 1/800, and so on. As a note, these numbers are in “seconds” of time (ex: 2″ = 2 seconds; 1/10th of a second, 1/200th of a second, etc.). The higher the number (such as 1/800), the “more likely” it is that you will freeze action; the lower the number (ex: 1/10), the “less likely” you will freeze action.

Here’s a real-life example: When we are at a track event, where lots of people are running, we set our Shutter Speed to at least 1/500 to “freeze” the runners’ movements. On the other hand, in a night-time shot, we may set the Shutter Speed to over 2 seconds or more. A few picture examples are shown below:


This shot above had the shutter speed set to about 2 seconds….


DO 06-01-13-015

And, in this shot of Ray Charles in action in Albany, Georgia, the shutter speed was set to about 1/500th of a second because of the bright sunlight. He also was slowly rotating on a platform, so the higher shutter speed “froze” him in action….

So, as you can see, the Shutter Speed has an effect on your images! Later this week, we’ll talk about our next area, which is Aperture….