FocusEd: Basics of Shutter Speed

On this B&H video (made by Kelby Training) photographer Larry Becker goes back to basics to explore the the camera shutter speed and how it effects your images.

Shutter speed is a part of the exposure triangle of your camera (the combination of aperture, ISO and shutter speed which create your specific exposure in any given lighting situation). Shutter speed can have a dramatic effect on the way objects look in your image – it allows you to either freeze object in their place (even when they are moving fast) or alternatively make them look blurry (which can sometimes be used for artistic superposes).

In the past there were no image stabilizers in lenses and cameras so shooting hand held was harder and required practice and the use of faster shutter speeds – these days lots of lenses (and some cameras) have built in stabilizers with up to 4 stops of power (allowing you to shoot at much slower shutter speeds – sometimes even below 1/10 of a second).

The video covers a few other topics but is pretty basic and quick. If you want more – we have covered this topic several times in the past including on “Camera Shutter Basics” from the Canon EOS 101 series, The Exposure Triangle in Action: Shooting an Eagle Landing, and Components of Exposure – How Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO Work Together. If you are more into video – check out “Understanding Shutter Speed and Frame Rate in Video“.

Also, if you want a cool demonstration of how both the shutter and the mirror of your camera actually work – check out “A Look Inside Your DSLR at 10,000 Frames Per Second“.

You can watch many more photography tips on the LensVid technique section. You can check out more videos from the FocusEd series here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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