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# Video:Photography: Shutter Speed Overview

with Chris Davis

Shutter speed can affect many aspects of single photo. Watch this About.com video to see how shutter speed can be used to capture the image you want.See Transcript

## Transcript:Photography: Shutter Speed Overview

Hi I'm Chris Davis for About.com.  Whether you want to freeze or blur a moving subject in your photography you will need to understand the concept shutter speed.  Let's take a look at how it can effect your photographs.

### Setting the Shutter Speed

Before you start shooting you will want to place your camera into the shutter priority mode.  This will be represented by the letters Tv and is the easiest way to begin making adjustments.

Simply put, shutter speed dictates the amount of time that the shutter remains open while taking a photograph.  The shutter is like a door within the camera.  It opens to let light in and closes to keep it out as you press the shutter button while taking a picture.  It is measured in seconds or fractions of seconds. The smaller the denominator the slower the speed.  For example a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second is much slower than a shutter speed of 1/2000 of a second.

Generally shutter speeds will approximately double between each setting.  This means that the shutter will remain open twice as long or half as long as the previous setting depending on which direction you make the adjustment.

### Shutter Speed Captures or Freezes Movement

Shutter speed is most often used to help capture movement. You have two choices, Freeze your subject, or create an intentional blur.

Freezing movement requires a fast shutter speed while blurring your subject will need a slower shutter speed.  You will want to experiment with with a few test shots to achieve the effect you are looking for.

The actual shutter speed you will use varies based on the speed of your subject and the amount of blur you want to create or eliminate.  For example, the motorcycle in this shot is moving faster than this the lacrosse player.   Each photo was taken with a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second but yielded different results

Typically you will begin with a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second or faster.  Slower shutter speeds can be used, as in this picture of moving water which creates a soft blur, but usually require the use of a tripod to avoid camera shake which will give you unintentional blurring.

Take the time to try a variety of shutter speed setting to see how they will effect your images.  To learn more check us out on the web at About.com.  Thanks for watching

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