photo study: shutter speed

This week’s photo study is an exploration of shutter speed.  Shutter speed, a basic photographic component, is defined as the amount of time your camera allows light to enter your camera.  The variables of a scene being photographed together with the size of aperture and the shutter speed have the potential to create unique images.

A fast shutter speed will freeze moving objects.

Nikon D750     f/5.6   1/2,500  300mm   100 ISO

While fast shutter speeds create crisp and sharp images, slow shutter speeds — open for half a second or longer – extends the length of time light is entering your camera.  This light is continuously  being influenced by the motion within the scene and thus creating blurry, foggy, silky, or milky elements within an image.

Nikon D750    f/22    1s    35mm    100 ISO
Nikon D750    f/8   241s   24mm   100 ISO

The shutter speed in panning photography can be as low as 1/20 or as fast as 1/125.  The trick is to match the speed of the subject with your speed of panning.  The inclusion of motion blur within street photography is often created with a high aperture setting, a low as possible ISO, and a low shutter speed.

Nikon D750   f/29   1/6s  75mm  100 ISO
Nikon D750   f/9    1/20s     85mm     320 ISO

The images below are examples of various shutter speeds with the same aperture and ISO settings.

Nikon D750     f/7.1    1/60s   35mm    100 ISO
Nikon D750     f/7.1    1/30s    35mm    100 ISO
Nikon D750     f/7.1   1/20s    35mm    100 ISO

Thank you for taking the time to visit.  I hope you enjoy Ted Forbes’ discussion of shutter speed and his nighttime images.  Would love to hear your thoughts and see your creative work.

31 replies to “photo study: shutter speed

  1. Yay! My comment posted. I have had many go to spam folders–what?! Your lessons have been wonderful–but my comments would not stick!

  2. Beautiful imagery, combined with a concise and easily read commentary. Always a good thing to keep on a nodding relationship with the fundamental elements of photography. I like the quiet dynamism of the trees in the water.

    1. Thanks for visiting and sharing your past shutter speed images. The panning images are great…I especially like the first one…great perspective. Must have taken some experimentation. Your motion blur images are great especially since there is a nice contrast between sharp and blur. Was these created via hand-held camera?

      1. Well, they aren’t very good these days, so I can only do a little at a time….but image stabilisation in the camera helps!

  3. Thanks for sharing this, the photo’s look great. I like the way the water looks in the last one.

  4. Great post Brenda…and yes.. playing is the correct word when you are with a camera. And you played well here! 🙂

    1. Thank you for visiting. It is my hope that as I learn more about photography I will meet others who enjoy photography and we also share our learning.

  5. Great post, Brenda. Not sure if you have figured out my working flow yet… I read it once and I think about it and I take photos and then come back to read it again. Hopefully by reading it before and after shooting, I will be able to keep what I learned a little longer.
    I don’t see too much difference between 1/20 and 1/30. Do you? Very interesting.
    Have a great day.

    1. I think I missed this comment. I like your flow especially since coming back to reading helps me understand ideas that are new. Comparing the shutter speeds of river images…same river in constant change may not be ideal subjects. Yet, it seems to me as I revisit the images that the whites may be slightly different. Sorry I missed this post.

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