A Quick Guide to Shutter Speeds [Infographic]

Shutter Speed Explained

In this post, we explain about shutter speed and how you can use different speeds for various creative effects. Plus, we’ll give you a handy shutter speed infographic which is a great quick reference tool for shutter speeds.

What is the Shutter?

A shutter is a curtain in front of the camera sensor that is normally closed. When a picture is taken, the shutter opens and exposes the sensor to the light that passes through the lens aperture.

What is Shutter Speed?

Shutter speed, also known as Exposure Time, is the amount of time, measured in seconds, that the shutter is open.

When taking a picture, you should consider whether there is anything moving within the scene. If there is, then adjust the shutter speed depending upon the speed of movement and the effect you want to create, e.g. freezing movement, blurring movement, panning, or long exposure. Here is a quick guide to the shutter speeds for various effects.

Shutter Speeds Infographic

The following infographic provides suggested shutter speeds depending upon your subject and the create effect you would like to use.

Shutter Speeds Infographic


Maintaining the Correct Exposure

Shutter Speed is a key component of the Exposure Triangle, along with Aperture and ISO. Therefore, if you change the Shutter Speed, you will need to adjust either the Aperture or the ISO in order to maintain the correct exposure. e.g. if you slow the Shutter Speed you will need to set a smaller Aperture or lower the ISO; if  you make the Shutter Speed faster then you will need to set a larger Aperture or a higher ISO to compensate.

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