42nd Street Photo & Shutter Speed

There are many uses for settings on shutter speed to be changed. You can change the blurring effects; maintain perfect exposure among many other things. Learning to use and adjust the shutter speed can is a very effective tool to utilize when working in photography or simply doing it for fun.

There is a tiny flap inside your camera that opens and closes to let light inside for your image. The actual words ‘shutter speed’ refers to the actual speed that it opens and closes. The longer the flap is open, the slower the shutter speed is. The speed is based in seconds or less. The amount of time it is open (i.e. 0.01 seconds or shutter speed of 1/100) is the time that the sensor is exposed to the light. Cameras typically have a wide range of options for shutter speed and some even have a setting that can be held open as long as desired. 

Many times, you can simply use the automatic setting on your camera and not worry about shutter speed as your camera will use what it senses as best. There is a chance in this case though that the wrong speed will be used causing bad exposure or blurry images. When you do decide to use manual shutter speeds, here are the things to keep in mind:

– Steadiness of camera- The shaking of your camera that naturally happens in your hand can cause blurriness. Even objects that are not moving can appear blurred with even a small shake. With a higher/ faster shutter speed, you can avoid camera shake in most cases.

  • Blur with action- When photographing moving objects, a slower shutter speed will cause the image to blur. You may not want the speed too fast either. By maintaining just a spec of the blur, your photo can communicate the movement. 
  • Controlling the exposure- An overexposed photo is much too bright while photos that are underexposed are too dark. Exposure is also connected to shutter speed in that a slower speed lets in more light, often causing overexposure. You want the perfect balance of light and shadow so this step is very important.
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