Your son blew out his birthday candles but the photograph comes out blurry.
You photographed the fireworks and you didn’t like the result
Your daughter raced over the finish line but your photograph was out of focus.
The above can be corrected by adjusting your shutter speed.
The Meaning of Shutter Speed
Shutter speed is one of three exposure controls you need to understand.
But what is shutter speed?
Shutter speed controls how much time the shutter is open to capture the image. You may use a faster shutter speed when there is movement in the scene. A slower shutter speed is ideal for lower light applications with little movement.
Shutter Speed Settings
Shutter speed is set in milliseconds.
When you set the shutter speed to 250 means it will remain open for 1/250th of a second. A shutter speed of 1000 will remain open for 1 second. Most cameras have many more settings for shutter speed.
You will select a shutter speed based on the lighting in your scene. Lower light indicates a slower shutter speed or a lower number on your settings. Brighter light typically requires a faster shutter speed.
When you are hand holding the camera it’s best to keep the shutter speed at a higher setting to avoid camera shake.
What is slow shutter speed?
Slow shutter speed allows more time for the light to come through the lens.
With a lower shutter speed you can demonstrate movement that will enhance the activity within the picture. That will create a special affect.
When photographing at night, a lower shutter speed will extend the amount of time the shutter is open, and therefore receive the proper amount of light for the image.
What is a fast shutter speed?
If you are capturing an object moving quickly, you will need to increase your shutter speed to stop the action without losing focus.
Using the Mode with Shutter Speed
The camera mode dial is where you select various settings that control how light and activity are captured in your photographs.
When the camera mode dial is set to AUTO, the shutter speed and aperture are controlled by the camera based on the scene and lighting it detects.
Manual mode allows you to manually control shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.
Shutter priority mode lets you select the shutter speed while the camera choses what aperture setting to use.