A want to start this post off by apologizing for being away for a few weeks, as the fall event season gets underway my blog update may not be as constant as I would like them to be due to busy nature of my work.
Now for the good stuff, to fully understand how your camera works you have to understand shutter speed. The simple definition of shutter speed is how long the shutter is open but there is so much more to it than that. Shutter speed is measured in seconds or fractions of a second to be more accurate. When annotating shutter speed, it is written as a fraction for example 1/60sec. is one sixtieth of a second. You can have a shutter speed of 1sec. or slower but generally you will be working with faster shutter speeds. The farther away from one second you go the faster the shutter speed for example 1/60sec. is slower than 1/125 sec.
Shutter speeds that are given to you in your camera will most likely double as you increase it. Your shutter speed may start out at 1/60 and double to 1/125 and keep going up from there. Aperture works in a similar way by doubling the amount of light let in when decreasing the aperture stop, increasing shutter speed by one stop or decreasing aperture by one stop will you roughly the same exposure levels.
Most of the time you will want to use a shutter speed of 1/60 or higher because it eliminates camera shake. If you do use a shutter speed slower than this you will need a tripod to get a non-blurry photo. Another thing to consider is your focal length, at longer focal lengths you need to have a faster shutter speed because at longer focal lengths you have more camera shake. Think about it if you're using a huge 70-200mm lens your cameras going to move more due to you trying to hold still with the extra weight verse using a 50mm lens which is a lot lighter combined with your camera.
To freeze an image, you need to use a fast shutter speed doing so means that the shutter is open for a shorter period of time. Because of that less light gets into the camera, meaning you have to change the ISO (read about it here) or Aperture (read about it here) to get a good exposure. So, say you're at a portrait shoot and you're using f/1.8 and a shutter speed of 1/100 sec. then the only way to make sure you get a good exposure is to use ISO level of 200 or higher. I know that might not make sense so I’m going to break it down, even more, we’re using f/1.8 because we want only are subject in focused (person we’re taking portraits of), the shutter speed is set 1/100 sec. since the person is not moving we are not worried about freezing action and this shutter speed is high enough that there won’t be camera shake, and finally ISO is set to 200 because we are in a well-lit area and do not want grain in the photo.
Like everything else in photography this will take practice to master. Take a friend or a prop out and play around with different settings until you get comfortable with it. For now this is where I leave you. You now have all the information you need on the exposure triangle (ISO, shutter speed, aperture) to be a kick ass photographer. Happy Shooting!
Ashley is a Virginia based photographer living her dreams of shooting concerts & interesting people. When she's not shooting or writing for the blog you can find her curled up with a good book and a latte (coffee keeps her going).