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How To Choose Your Shutter Speed

Watch more Photography Tips & Techniques videos: Subscribe to Howcast's YouTube Channel - Want to take better pictures? Learn how to choose your shutter speed with these photography tips from Howcast. Howcast uploads the highest quality how-to videos daily! Be sure to check out our playlists for guides that interest you: Subscribe to Howcast's other YouTube Channels: Howcast Health Channel - Howcast Video Games Channel - Howcast Tech Channel - Howcast Food Channel - Howcast Arts & Recreation Channel - Howcast Sports & Fitness Channel - Howcast Personal Care & Style Channel - Howcast empowers people with engaging, useful how-to information wherever, whenever they need to know how. Emphasizing high-quality instructional videos, Howcast brings you experts who provide accurate information in easy-to-follow tutorials on everything from makeup, hairstyling, nail art design, and soccer to parkour, skateboarding, dancing, kissing, and much, much more. Step 1: What shutter speed is Shutter speed denotes how long the shutter is held open to allow light to reach the film or, in a digital camera, the image sensor. Tip Along with the aperture—or the opening in the lens—shutter speed regulates how much light the camera will record. Step 2: Determine shot Determine what you want to shoot and how the shutter speed will affect your images. Fast shutters will freeze the action, slow shutters leave motion blurs. Step 3: Estimate speed of subject Estimate how fast your subject is moving. Also, higher shutter speeds are required when your subject is moving across the frame as opposed to coming directly at you. Step 4: Decide on lens Decide on what lens you will be working with. This will determine the minimum shutter speed at which you can hold the camera and still get a sharp image. Tip Holding your camera at shutter speeds lower than one over the focal length of your lens may cause blurry images (from camera shake). Thus, for a 200 mm lens, the fastest feasible shutter speed would be roughly 1/250 of a second. Step 5: Mount camera on tripod If shaking is a problem, mount your camera on a tripod or place it on a steady surface like a table. Step 6: Set shutter speed Based on your analysis and artistic decision, set your shutter speed—then shoot the action. Tip Many digital cameras offer a Sports mode with a rapid succession shutter release. Try this setting to get a sequence of stop-motion images. Step 7: Test shutter speeds Test different shutter speeds until you get the effect you want. You can even have a friend stand in for experiments. Did You Know? The first photographer to game fame through stop-motion photography was Eadweard Muybridge, who in the 1870s proved there was a point when a trotting horse had all four legs off the ground.
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