Shutter speed, ISO and aperture may be confusing for beginning photographers, and I personally have missed shots of a lifetime due to my laziness to simply google or YouTube the subject…so don’t make my mistake! This specific post is going to introduce you to Shutter speed, the easiest concept to grasp out of the three.
The shutter speed of your camera allows you to take phenomenal pictures of the night sky, as well as freeze individual water droplets off a breaching whale in mid air. From a photography standpoint, the lower the shutter speed, the more of a need for a tripod you will have (unless your camera has an image stabilization, then you have an awesome camera). When you have a slower shutter speed such as 1/30 when taking a picture or a video, these images are going to have slightly blurred movement, and objects will appear in motion. Any shutter speed slower than 1/60 may require a tripod. However, when shooting at night and trying to capture the stars in the sky or a blurred city intersection from a rooftop vantage point, you would want to use a shutter speed that’s actually a couple seconds long. When shooting the stars or anything else with extremely low light in dark situations, I will set my shutter speed to 15-30 seconds. This absolutely requires a tripod but allows the slightest of light to enter the cameras processor. This type of photography also depends greatly on ISO settings, but we will get to that later.
Sports photography and videography. For this type of production, you will generally use a higher shutter speed, such as 1/1000 (of a second). This setting, if used correctly, allows you to capture the seams of a football in mid air, feathers of a bird in flight, or water droplets falling to earth from a nasty storm overhead. Using a higher shutter speed also comes in handy when producing a film that needs slow motion or a crisp, surreal effect.
The best way to learn more about when and where to use specific shutter speeds is to simply walk outside and start taking pictures!