Surfer in Santa Cruz

Shutter Speed – Defined

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Shutter Speed is the amount of time that the Sensor, or Film, is exposed to light. Shutter Speed is measured in seconds, and fractions of seconds.
The following are fractions of 1 second:

1/8000, 1/4000, 1/2000, 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2
These are whole seconds: 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30,

Bulb (B) is a feature that allows the Shutter to stay open for as long as you hold the Shutter Button.

Shutter Speed

Each number increment doubles (to the right), or half’s (to the left), the amount of time that light is allowed in.

Example 1: if your Shutter Speed is 1/125th of a second and you would like to get a brighter exposure, change your Shutter Speed to 1/60th or 1/30th of a second.

Example 2: if your Shutter Speed is 1/2 of a second and you would like to get a darker exposure, change your Shutter Speed to 1/4 or 1/8th of a second.

The larger the fraction, the darker the exposure. The smaller the fraction, the lighter the exposure. Whole numbers are measured in whole seconds.

Example 3: 8 is eight seconds, 30 is thirty seconds.

A fast Shutter Speed of 1/8000 of a second will make everything look frozen in time.

Surfer in Santa Cruz

A slow Shutter Speed of 30 seconds will give blur to anything in motion.

Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz
This 10 minute exposure is an extreme example of a slow shutter speed.

Just The Tip: When holding your camera by hand, not on a tripod, use a shutter speed that is equal to, or greater than, your lens length.

Example 4: If you are using a 50mm lens, use a Shutter Speed of 1/60th of a second or faster like 1/125th of a second. This will generally insure a sharp shot, unless you are spinning around in circles on a roller coaster.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small monetary reimbursement if you make a purchase using this link.

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