The third part of the series of articles on exposure will be the shutter speed. You have already read the articles about ISO and Aperture. Now we will talk about shutter speed.
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
Understanding shutter speed
The shutter speed is the time during which the camera shutter is open and the light reaches the image sensor of your camera. Of course, the shutter speed is part of the exposure. Shutter speeds are measured in fractions of a second, seconds, and sometimes minutes.
Most modern cameras can handle shutter speeds of up to 1/4000th of a second. The longest available shutter speed on cameras is typically 30 seconds.
Shutter speed stops
Each Shutter speed stops down increases the duration of time the shutter stays open by a factor of two and, as a result, doubles the amount of light that reaches the camera sensor. Example of Shutter speed stops:
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.
Shutter speed has an effect on exposure, which relates to the brightness of an image. Slow shutter speed photography, your camera sensor gathers a lot of light, and the resulting photo will be quite bright.
The shutter speed will change every time during the day at different brightness. How to use this tool for shooting landscape photos?
We will talk about this a little bit later.
Free download Shutter Speed Chart PDF
What is shutter priority
Shutter Priority like Aperture modes is really semi-manual (or semi-automatic) modes. Shutter Priority mode allows you to take charge of the shutter speed. It gives you some control over your camera settings.
And now I will show you how to change the shutter speed on your camera.
How to change the shutter speed
In Auto mode or Aperture priority mode, the shutter speed changes automatically. In most cases it is advisable. But in some cases, it is not enough to get creative landscape photos.
You can change the shutter speed on your camera in manual (M) or Aperture priority. It will have to give full control of the aperture of the camera.
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 shutter speed on Nikon similar by Canon.
Nikon cameras have a different design. You should read your camera's manual or watch the video.
The 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 read on this site too.
Now you know what shutter speed is and how to set it. It’s time to learn how to use shutter speed in landscape photography and take amazing photos.
How to use the shutter speed
The shutter speed determines the movement in the image. A long shutter speed records more movement than short shutter speed. Consequently, you can freeze or blur motion in the frame. It looks very beautiful if you can do it right.
The principal for motion blur photography is slow shutter speeds. for motion, blur photography is slow shutter speeds. Let’s use the example of my photos to learn how to freeze and motion blur.
Many landscape photographers prefer to use a long shutter speed when shooting moving elements. This method is called Long Exposure Photography and is often used to create dreamy landscape pictures.
Nighttime photography needs slow shutter speed and high IS. The best example of nighttime photography is Northern Lights shooting.
Long Exposure photography
Long exposure photography is the most popular technique today. This technique has gained popularity in the last few years. Start with an f/8 f-stop and a 10-second shutter speed. 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 of passion for landscape photography, I got a lot of experience. I show examples of base shutter speeds that can be used for different scenes.
Usually, you need a tripod, a cable release, and ND lens filters. You can open the camera shutter from 30 seconds to several minutes to achieve blurry soft waves that make the photo more creative and unique. You may need to use an ND filter on the lens. Keep your low ISO, experiment and take an amazing pic!
I can give you one last tip. Experiment with long and slow shutter speed. Shoot the same landscape with different shutter speeds. Then, at home, during post-processing, you select the best shot. This is normal, as the shutter speed creates mood and emotions.
Anyone have any tips to add? Please share in the comments!
Shutter Speed Chart | Seascape Exposure
Shutter speed chart infographic helps you get to learn the exposure. This chart sheet of Shutter Speed is helped photographers to get well-exposed photos and to embrace it as an artistic tool.
It is hard to pinpoint the shutter speed range for the landscapes. There are different lighting conditions each time and camera settings will be different.
Free download Shutter Speed Chart PDF
Blurring water is a cool effect that can be effectively put to use where water is moving. Neutral Density filters are your tools for blurring waterfalls, waves and other motion. I typically use an 8-10 stop ND to get the exposure length I need for blurring.
You can also shoot multiple exposures and blend them together in post, but that is a lot more work on the back end.
No list is definitive and you may have some other suggestions for what these shutter speeds are best used to photograph. If so, let us know in the comments!
Please check out some of my previously published free tutorials in my archives.
MORE EXPOSURE RESOURCES
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