beginning photography tips
(understanding shutter speed)

Looking for some beginning photography tips? This particular article will help you understand shutter speed.

The article is just one of a series of articles covering basic photography information.  If you are looking for some other specific topic, use the search box on the right. Browse around some more or use the site map to find other digital photo tips.  Have fun!

Understanding shutter speed is an important thing for beginning photographers

It is very easy to just set your digital camera to one of its automatic settings and be done with it. However, if you want to advance your photography skills, a basic understanding of shutter speed will help you choose what the best camera setting to use to get the desired effect you are trying to create.

shutter speed for beginning photographers

Shutter speed will affect the sharpness of your photo. With your camera set on a shutter priority mode, it will also effect what lens opening or aperture will give you the correct exposure. It may mean you will need a tripod, flash or image stabilization to get a sharper image as well.

Shutter speed is almost always expressed in fractions of a second. It is simply the length of time the light is allowed to enter the camera and strike the sensor.

Understanding fast shutter speed is an important aspec of beginning photographyA fast shutter speed freezes the helicopter blades.

This photo of the helicopter had a shutter speed of 1/400 of a second. With most cameras this is indicated by the number 400 in your viewfinder or on the LCD screen.

Notice that this fast or short exposure was enough to almost perfectly freeze the motion of the helicopter blades. I did a series of photos with varying shutter speeds using billiard balls for this article on how to stop taking Blurry Pictures.

Beginning Photographers should understand when to use a very slow shutter speed.A slow shutter speed of 1 second
makes the cascading water look creamy.

Another reason to grasp beginning photography tips with regards to understanding shutter speed is to have the ability to get creative with slow shutter speeds.

When the shutter is left open for a full second, you can get really cool nature photos involving water like the one above. The shutter speed on many cameras will then put a quotation mark after the number like this: "1" which is a shutter speed of one second.

The opposite technique is sometimes used to get a completely different effect as shown below. In the bright sun, it is easy to go for a fast shutter speed. There is more light available to get a good exposure and freeze any motion and capture a moment in time.

Freeze the water by using a very fast shutter speed

It is also useful to know as a beginning photography tip what shutter speed to use to intentionally just blur the background to create a sense of speed or action: Blurry Background.

One common photography mistake that beginners make is to forget that changing the shutter speed will mean that your aperture will have to change to get the right exposure. The new aperture will then change the depth of field or the range of things in your photo that are in sharp focus.

links relating to beginning photography tips

Definition of Aperture.  Exposure is determined from shutter speed and aperture.  What is it and how does aperture affect exposure and how does it effect the important element of depth of field?

Other definitions used in photography.  A huge list of photography terms and links to many realted articles, great for beginning photographers to search.

Macro photography for Beginners. If you have an interest in macro photography and are a beginning photographer.

Back from Beginning Photography Tips to Beginners Photography. Four general tips to lead you to better photos and a more enjoyable experience with taking digital photos.

Back to Digital Photography Tips Home Page.  Where it all started and links to the hundreds of other articles about digital Photography.

Happy Shooting!

Click here to visit
Digital Photography School.