Understanding Shutter Speed and Its Effects on an Image

Branching out from your camera’s auto mode and controlling its shutter speed will change everything about your photography, from preventing blurry photos to understanding how to create motion effects. This video explains how to do this in a creative way.

After covering aperture and ISO, this third exposure triangle video from PHLEARN explains the basics of shutter speed by using LEGO. In this fun tutorial, Aaron Nace sets up a scene of Star Wars toys and then takes several photos using different camera settings to demonstrate the difference between a fast and slow shutter speed in an image.

As you can see in Nace’s examples, a slower shutter speed is great for producing a unique effect like motion blur or allowing enough light into your camera when in a dark room. However, if you are a beginner who is still trying to master the exposure triangle you need to be cautious of this. I have found that a slow shutter speed is the number one mistake a new photographer makes because they fail to set their shutter at a fast enough rate to prevent a blurry photo. There are more advanced rules you will eventually learn, but if you are new to photography, I would suggest never letting your shutter speed drop below 1/125 s when taking handheld pictures. To get a better understanding of why this is important and how the exposure triangle works, take a look at Nace’s video above.

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