Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed determines the length of time the shutter remains open to expose the picture.
Shutter speeds are incremental and are always displayed in fractions of a second.

The table above shows shutter speeds in full exposure stop increments.  
When the shutter speed is increased by 1 full stop (1/125 – 1/250) the amount of light hitting the camera sensor is halved.  Similarly if the shutter speed is decreased by one full stop (1/250 – 1/125) the amount of light hitting the sensor is doubled.  

Shutter speeds are typically used to control movement in an image.  For example, a slow shutter speed will show motion in a picture.  The image below was taken at 1/25s.  As you can see the waves are slightly blurred showing that they are moving.

The next example shows how a fast shutter speed freezes movement.

Shot at 1/1600s.  As you can see the dog’s movement is frozen and you can see every droplet of water as it splashes up.

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