This is a measure of just how long the sensor is exposed to light, and as such is a major factor in how motion is captured in your photos. Most cameras, including point-and-shoots, have a Shutter Priority mode that lets you take direct control over the exposure.
You’ll access this via the Mode dial or software menu, and adjust the speed via a control dial or rear buttons consult your camera’s manual if you’re not sure how to adjust it.If you’re taking photos where motion is fast, like a drag race or a soccer game, you can set the shutter speed to a short value like 1/1000 second to freeze motion.
Alternatively, if you want to show off the motion of action, keep the shutter open longer and you’ll see a bit of a blur around fast moving objects, like I did with the shot of the carnival ride above it was taken at 1/15 second.
If you practice, you can move the camera along with your subject to help keep it crisp and add a bit of motion blur to the background. Landscape photographers often use a tripod and a longer shutter to give waterfalls and streams a smooth, dreamy look.
When taking family snapshots, you should be able to get away with 1/60 second and keep things crisp—although if you’ve got family members who tend to move unexpectedly, 1/125 second might be necessary.
If you’re shooting an especially spastic subject, like the chicken below, a higher speed might be required to do the trick I had to shoot at 1/500 to freeze its motion.
Most family snapshots are taken at a wider angle, so blur induced by movement of the camera itself shouldn’t be an issue.
If you find yourself using a telephoto lens without a tripod, you’ll want to remember a very simple rule of thumb: in order to hold the camera steady enough to get a crisp image, you’ll want to shoot at the reciprocal shutter speed of the lens’s focal length: for a 300mm lens, set the camera to 1/300 second.Of course, this rule goes back to the days when most cameras took 35mm film, so you’ll have to take that into consideration.
A typical APS-C D-SLR with a 200mm lens should be set at 1/300 second or faster for a crisp shot due to the 1.5x crop factor, but if you’re shooting with a Micro Four Thirds camera with a 2x crop factor, you’ll need to use 1/300 second with a 150mm lens.
This isn’t a strict rule, and modern lenses with stabilization systems will allow you to get away with slower speeds but when you’re trying to capture the decisive moment, it’s best to err on the side of caution with a shorter shutter speed.
Understanding how shutter speed affects your final image will help you to capture crisp, frozen motion when you want to, or to slow things down and capture a bit of motion blur when the shot calls for it.
Source: PC MAG