Shutter speed, along with aperture and ISO, are the three key elements of photography. For better understanding, it is better to get familiarized with several terms related to shutter camera speed.
What is a camera shutter?
It is a covering for your camera sensor which is kept closed until a shot is taken. Every time your camera takes a shot, this shutter opens and allows the sensor to be exposed to the light which goes through the hole in the camera lens or the aperture. Once the sensor has grasped the light, the shutter closes to stop the light to hit the sensor.
What is shutter camera speed?
Shutter camera speed is the time measured when the shutter is open. But in film photography, shutter camera speed is the time measured of the film’s exposure to the scene being shot.
In digital photography, shutter speed is the time measured for your sensor image to see the scene you are going to shoot. It is technically where dramatic effects are created either when you freeze an action or you blur it.
It is also referred to exposure time which means the amount of time a camera shutter opens to have you camera sensor exposed to the presence of light. A faster speed helps freezing an action while a slow speed would cause what you call a “motion blur”.
How is a shutter camera speed measured?
Shutter speed’s unit of measurement is seconds – or typically in many instances, a fraction of seconds. As the denominator gets higher, the speed becomes faster; that is, 1/30 would mean thirtieth of a second, 1/1000 is a one thousandth of a second which is lot faster than 1/30.
Difference between a fast, a slow and a long shutter camera speed
Motion is better sometimes
Sometimes, you need to emphasize the action your subject does such as in the case of waterfalls, waves in rivers, racing cars or even a shooting star or star scape. For these shots, it is best to have long shutter speed. Likewise, it is better also to take the shots using a tripod to avoid blurring the shots because of the camera shake. (On a side note if you’re a hunter looking to take photo’s from your phone take a look at Phone Scope).
Shutter Speed gets approximately doubled with every setting
Usually, the speeds get doubled with every setting. Similarly, when you change the aperture settings, the amount of light passing through the sensor also gets doubled. That is; a one stop increase in shutter speed and a one stop decrease in the aperture will have approximately the same exposure levels. The three key elements of photography (Aperture, ISO and Shutter speed) cannot be separated from each other.
When Choosing The Speed
There are some things you need to consider when choosing the right speed. One of these is the focal length of the lens of your camera. Since longer focal lengths emphasizes the level of camera shake, it is better to use a faster speed though there are some cameras which already have a built in image stabilization in their lens. The rule of the thumb shall apply; that is, to shoot with a shutter camera speed whose denominator is higher than the focal length of the lens.