#6 Shutter Speed

Part Six – Hello mr Shutter

This video discusses the second of the controls that make up the exposure triangle. This is all about the “shutter” and “shutter speed”.

Transcript of Video

“We’re now going to talk about your SLR camera’s shutter and shutter speed.

There are a couple of types of shutter, blade shutters and focal plane shutters. The type of shutter you’ll find in your SLR camera is the focal plane shutter which can be found behind the mirror and in front of the camera sensor.

If you think of your shutter like a shutter blind that you might have on your windows at home, when you close the shutter no lights able to get through, when you open the shutter light is able to get through and that’s effectively how the shutter works on your SLR camera.

You can alter the speed in which your shutter opens and closes depending on what speed you set your shutter speed on.

If we look at the settings on this illustration we’re going from faster speeds to slower speeds as we look at it from left to right. Many modern day cameras go from 1/8000 of a second although this illustration is showing a maximum of 1/1000 of a second. It is missing 1/8000, 1/4000, 1/2000 before you get to 1/1000. These figures are fractions of seconds. So at 1/1000 of a second you’re shutter is open only for 1/1000 of a second before it closes again. The shutters default position is closed. Pressing the shutter button on the top of your camera forces it to open for the selected time period.

The figures to the right of the illustration are full seconds. They’re not fractions of seconds at that point. So they are the slower shutter settings.

You might ask why we may want to select a fast or slower shutter speed and the reasons are generally for creative purposes.

So if you’re photographing a sports game for instance let’s say a football game and you want to freeze any movement in the photograph you would use a fast shutter speed let’s say 1/1000 of a second. There won’t be much movement for the 1/1000 of a second that you’re shutter is open. Anything from 1/250 a second and faster will limit the amount of movement in the shot.

If you want to get some movement in your photo such as light trails from car headlights and tail lights at night you would use a much slower shutter speed as the cars will have moved some distance is say 8 seconds.

So you’re using you’re shutter to get these kind of creative effects.

Now coming back to using you’re shutter for the purposes of getting the correct exposure remember when we were talking about the Aperture in a previous video we talked about the relationship between each of the settings in relation to one another being half or double the amount of light to the previous one (If you don’t remember then check it out again later).

Well that is the same with the shutter as you move from left to right in this illustration from say 1/1000 of a second to 1/500 of a second you’re keeping your shutter open twice as long which is doubling the amount of light hitting your cameras sensor, as you move from 1/500 to 1/250 you’re allowing twice as much light in again. If you go the opposite way from say 1/250 to 1/500 you’re halving the amount of light which is hitting you’re camera sensor.

You’re shutter speed can be used in conjunction with your aperture and ISO to get the right exposure so that your photograph is not to light or too dark, but we will go into more detail in a future video”.