Shutter Speed: Camera Settings
Your cameras shutter speed is a measurement of how long your cameras shutter stays open when you're taking a picture. The slower the shutter speed the longer the exposure time. When the exposure is set to 1/125 or simply 125 this means that the shutter will be open for exactly 1/125th of a second.
Common shutter speed options are:
2, 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 , 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000
A shutter speed of 2 would therefore keep the shutter open for 2 seconds, while a shutter speed of 1/2000 would keep the shutter open for 1/2000th of a second. It is also important to note that each increase in shutter speed doubles the amount of light coming in. For example, a 2 second shutter speed will let in twice as much light as a 1 second shutter speed. Similarly, a 1/15th shutter speed will let in twice as much light as a 1/30th shutter speed.
Shutter speed will have two major effects on your photographs. First off it, like aperture, will control the amount of light allowed into hit the film (or CCD chip if you are using a digital camera). Therefore changing the shutter speed will have an effect on your photographs exposure level. If you keep the shutter speed open for a long time, for example 1 or 2 seconds, your picture will be brighter and possibly too bright (over-exposed). If you don't keep your shutter open long enough (for example, 1/2000th of a second) your picture could be too dark (under-exposed).
Secondly, your shutter speed will effect movement within your photograph. A photograph is simply a recoding of light. If you open and close your shutter speed very quickly you will freeze a moment in time. Quick shutter speeds are great to freeze fast moving object while slower shutter speeds can lead to some interesting visual effects since they will capture movement within a frame.
For example, in the following picture the photographer used a long shutter speed which kept the shutter speed open for a longer period of time before closing. In this example the camera must have been on a tripod which ensured everything that was static (maintained its position) remained in its place. However anything which moved within the photograph left its trails in the photograph for the duration that the shutter was open for. In the example below a car s headlights were traced during the films exposure to a car driving on the following highway.
Here is a video about shutter speed from Tony Northrup
Here is a video about Shutter Speed from BandH
Other photography pages of interest