Today, we will shed some light on the importance of shutter speed in the endeavour of photography.
Shutter speed primarily determines two things: Brightness of the image, and creating or removing the blur in the picture. Let us dwell into it to get a better understanding.
The Shutter Explained
Understanding Shutter speed
The variation in the exposure time leads to many effects that can change the way an image looks from the other.
For example, if you keep the shutter open for a long period (slow shutter speed), you are letting the sensor take more light for longer time. This sometimes leads to what we call motion blur.
If the sensor is exposed for long, a subject if moving will appear blurred like leaving a trail behind. You may have viewed such blurs in a cartoon to signify greater speeds, the blur creates an illusion of speed and motion.
On the other hand, if the shutter is left open for a shorter period of times(fast shutter speed), the picture is clear and crisp. If you want everything sharp and want to eliminate any blur, reduce the exposure time.
This is quite useful in situations where you want to capture a scenic landscape and want to portray in its detailed eternal glory, where every detail matters and should be kept as is.
The shutter speed can be used in another important way; to freeze a moment of time, Using high shutter speeds can help up freeze a frame for high-speed objects, like a Cheetah running after its prey, or Louis Hamilton gunning for another F1 title. It can also be used to capture the dew in the air, otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
All this and more can be done simply by controlling the speed of the shutter, i.e. the time for which it remains open. You can keep it open for 300th of a second or for a quarter of a second. After all, you are the master of your camera.
It has to be said that there are other variables in play when it comes to the brightness of the image, ISO and aperture for example.
Also, the brightness of the environment which you are about to capture is also a big determinant for brightness. You can, therefore, choose a suitable shutter speed by using the other variables appropriately for a high-quality image.
If you are very particular about eliminating the blur, a tripod can always come to rescue. People play with shutter speed to get the right brightness for their photo, often forgetting about its blurring aspect which should never be ignored if you are out there to capture the perfect frame.
The Slow, the Fast and the Long
If you are out there to capture a bird flapping its wings 500 times a second, to freeze it in a frame you would require fast shutter speed for example 1000th of a second.
For other mundane purposes, like capturing a walking human you may need slow shutter speeds(100th of a second) so that you can capture more details without introducing any blur.
Your DSLR allows you to set the shutter speed manually, while you can always choose the auto mode to let the camera decide what’s best.
Generally, you should let the camera choose the shutter speeds. But if you find that there is motion blur that you don’t particularly appreciate always take things into your hands.
Also if you are caught in the bokeh fever, tweak the shutter speed to create your own artwork. Let the hair down, experiment and shake things up. The more you play with your camera the better you get. So tinker a little and Click that photo now.
Ankit Singh is a sorceror and camera is his wand. You wont find anyone more in love with light and lenses. When he is not clicking pictures, he is engrossed in the world of technology.