Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Word of the day! - Shutter Speed

Let's discuss shutter speed today.

Most think of needing to know about shutter speed when taking photos of action. If you are just starting out, the mode with the man running is tweaking your shutter speed, it is called the Action Mode. When taking a photo of a moving subject, changing the shutter speed can change the look of an image and help the look of the photo.

Using a fast shutter speed, tiny fraction, will freeze the action (1/1000). If a slow shutter speed, big fraction, is selected, movement is captured (1/2).

Here are suggested shutter speeds for photographing a variety of subjects.

Children - 1/250 - 1/1000 seconds Amusement park rides: +/- one second
Moving water/waterfalls: 1/1000 seconds or more Moving water/waterfalls: 4 or more seconds
Sporting event: 1/500 - 1/2000 seconds Fireworks: 1/2 - 4 seconds
Birds in flight: 1/1000th a second and above Moving cars at night: 8-10 seconds

Night photography - one or more seconds

* The closer action is to your digital camera, the faster the shutter speed is needed.

To help prevent images from becoming blurred, set the shutter speed faster than the focal length. For example, a zoom lens set at 200mm requires a shutter speed of at least 1/200 second to avoid a blurred image.

** Tripod or other camera support is recommended whenever using slow shutter speeds. Also use the self-timer or remote to trigger the shutter to prevent camera movement.

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