Yay! This is the last component to my beginners tutorial to photography! Aperture, ISO and Shutter speed are the most important principles to photography and it's vitally important to establish the fundamentals of these babies. I promise you, it will help you become that photographer you wanna be!

Okay, here we go.. the trickiest principle of the bunch (in my opinion).. Shutter Speed.

What is shutter speed?

Shutter speed is responsible for two particular things: changing the brightness of your photo, and creating dramatic effects by either freezing action or blurring motion. Essentially the shutter speed acts like a curtain, it opens to expose the camera sensor and the longer it is open, the more light that is exposed to the camera sensor.

When you use a long shutter speed (1/60), you end up exposing your sensor for a significant period of time, which has a couple of important effects on your photo. Landscape photographers may intentionally use long shutter speeds to create a sense of 'motion' on rivers and waterfalls, while keeping everything else completely sharp.

On the other hand, shutter speed can also be used to do just the opposite — freeze motion (for example: still portrait shot). Or if you use a super duper fast shutter speed, you can eliminate motion even from fast-moving objects, like birds in flight, or cars driving past OR even a drop of water being splashed in the ocean!

To quickly summarize (without blabbing for too long) - shutter speeds freeze action, while long shutter speeds create an effect of motion when you photograph moving objects.

The main button you press to take a photo on your DSLR is called the 'shutter button'. This button controls the opening and closing of the shutter, so just think back to your pair of curtains. You press the button to open the curtains. 

How is shutter speed measured?

Okay, so here is the numbers part (which isn't my forte)! Due to Shutter speed being a 'length of time' (the curtains open and closing), it is therefore measured in seconds. When the shutter speed is less than one second it is measured in fractions of a second (hope that makes sense).

If you set your camera to Shutter Priority or TV mode (Canon), you will be able to control the number of seconds the shutter is open for. I use a Canon 5DS, and my camera allows me to change my shutter speed from the the fastest of 1/8000th of a second to the slowest setting of 30"

Have a play with your shutter speed, here is a cheat sheet below, to help you see the range of objects you can capture.

Cheat sheet - shutter speed.jpg

In darker conditions you will need a slower shutter speed and therefore most likely need to use a tripod as the lower the light conditions, even the slightest hand jiggle will effect your image. In natural daylight on a clear day a shutter speed of 1/125th of a second will be just fine for everyday photos. 

When shooting on TV or Shutter Priority mode you also have control over your ISO. If you shoot on Aperture Priority the shutter speed will automatically adjust and you won't have to control it. I like to shoot on Aperture Priority (AV on canons) most days, but in darker conditions I always shoot on TV, so I can play around with the shutter speed.



Be best friends with your camera.

The best way to learn your camera, is to play around with it in different light conditions. Working with the three principles all the time. 

Okay, that's it from me today.

Thanks for reading lovelies, I hope this has been helpful. I always embrace your feedback, so send me a message on Instagram if you have any thoughts or questions.

The Wondering Dreamer x

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” - Robert Frank