The third part of the article series on exposure will be devoted to exposure. You have already read the articles about ISO and Aperture. Now let’s talk about exposure.
In this article you will learn:
- Understanding shutter speed
- How to change the shutter speed
- Slow shutter speed photography and tips on how to master it
Landscape Photography a Comprehensive guide for beginners is an e-book that will allow you to learn the basics of photography and teach you to take beautiful pictures of different types of landscape in all weather conditions.
Understanding shutter speed
The shutter speed is the time during which the camera shutter opens and light reaches the image sensor of your camera.
Of course, the shutter speed is part of the exposure. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second, seconds, and sometimes minutes.
Most modern cameras can hold a shutter speed of up to 1/4000 of a second. The longest shutter speed available on cameras is usually 30 seconds.
Shutter speed stops
Each shutter speed doubles the time the shutter remains open, doubling the amount of light reaching the camera sensor. Example of a shutter speed stop:
1/4000s, 1/2000s, 1/500s, 1/250s.., 1/60s.., 1/3s.., 1s and etc.
Some cameras also give you the option to shoot in B (Bulb) mode. Bulb mode lets you keep the shutter open for as long as you hold it down.
Full Shutter Speed Stop, 1/2 Stop, 1/3 Stop
The digital cameras allow us to change the shutter speed by half (1/2 stop) and some cameras by third (1/3 stop).
1/2000s – 1/1500s – 1/1000s
1/2000s – 1/1600s – 1/1250s – 1/1000s
Use this setting to get more exposure control.
The shutter speed affects exposure, which is related to the brightness of the image. When shooting at a slow shutter speed, your camera’s sensor collects a lot of light and the resulting picture is quite bright.
The shutter speed will change each time during the day at different brightness levels. How do I use this tool to take landscape pictures?
We’ll talk about it a little later.
Free download Shutter Speed Chart PDF
What is shutter priority
Shutter speed priority, like aperture modes, is actually semi-handheld (or semi-automatic). Shutter priority mode allows you to control the shutter speed. This gives you some control over your camera’s settings.
Now I will show you how to change the shutter speed on your camera.
How to change the shutter speed
In automatic or aperture priority mode, the shutter speed changes automatically. In most cases this is useful. But in some cases it is not enough to get creative landscape pictures.
You can change the shutter speed on your camera in manual mode (M) or Aperture priority mode. This should give you full control over the camera aperture.
How to change the shutter speed on Canon
- Turn the Mode dial of Canon camera and set the Manual mode (M) or Shutter priority (Tv). Simply turn the large mode dial to the symbols Tv or M.
- Turn the small main dial to change the shutter speed. The camera automatically set the aperture.
- Also, you can set the camera to 'Manual' mode. You change manually the shutter speed and aperture.
How to change the shutter speed on Nikon
Set the shutter speed to Nikon like Canon.
Nikon cameras have a different design. You should read the manual for your camera or watch the video.
A second way to change the shutter speed is to use different filters, such as a polarizer and ND filters. How to use filters in landscape photography you can also read on this site.
Now you know what shutter speed is and how to set it. It’s time to learn how to use the shutter speed in landscape photography and take amazing photos.
How to use the shutter speed
The shutter speed determines the movement in the image. Long shutter speed records more movement than short shutter speed. Therefore, you can freeze or blur the movement in the frame. It looks very beautiful if you can do it correctly.
Slow shutter speed is the main feature of blurred images. Let’s use an example of my photos to learn how to freeze and blur the image.
Many landscape photographers prefer to use slow shutter speeds when taking pictures of moving elements. This method is called long exposure and is often used to create dreamy landscapes.
Night photography requires a slow shutter speed and high ISO. The best example of night photography is taking pictures of northern lights.
Long Exposure photography
High shutter speed photography is the most popular technique today. This technique has gained popularity in the last few years. Start with an aperture of f / 8 and a shutter speed of 10 seconds. Use a tripod every time.
Practice your knowledge and experiment. Believe me, it is always very interesting.
What is the best shutter speed
For more than 13 years I have gained a lot of experience in landscape photography. I show examples of basic shutter speeds that can be used for different scenes.
Usually you need a tripod, cable release and ND lens filters. You can open the camera shutter for 30 seconds to a few minutes to get blurred soft waves that make your photography more creative and unique. You may have to use the ND filter on your lens. Keep the ISO setting low, experiment and take amazing photos!
I can give you one last piece of advice. Experiment with long and slow shutter speeds. Shoot the same scenery at different shutter speeds. Then at home, during post-processing, you choose the best shot. This is normal, as the shutter speed creates moods and emotions.
Does anybody have any tips to add? Please share in comments!
Shutter Speed Chart | Seascape Exposure
An infographic chart of the shutter speed will help you know the exposure. This shutter speed chart helps photographers get well exposed photos and use them as an artistic tool.
It is difficult to determine the exact range of shutter speed for landscapes. The lighting conditions and camera settings will vary each time.
Free download Shutter Speed Chart PDF
Water washout is a cool effect that can be used effectively when water is moving. Neutral Density Filters are your tools for blurring waterfalls, waves and other movements. I usually use 8-10 ND steps to get the length of exposure needed to blur.
You can also shoot multiple exposures and mix them together in a post, but that’s much more work on the side.
No list is definitive, and you may have some other suggestions as to which shutter speeds are best for taking pictures. If so, let us know in the comments!
Please check out some of my previously published free guides in my archives.