Title: What is Shutter Speed
Tags: shutter speed
Blog Entry: Shutter Speed Basics One of the most requested photography tips is shutter speed help.  Shutter speed  is one of the most basic important controls on a camera. Shutter speed controls the amount of time that your film, or digital sensor, is exposed to light. In effect, the shutter determines what image is captured on your film. The  shutter  is a small plastic sheet that opens and closes to allow light onto the film or prevent light from reaching the film. The shutter is opened when you press the shutter release button on your camera to take a picture. The shutter speed determines how long the shutter remains open. In cameras with TTL (through the lens) viewfinders, the shutter release button also moves a mirror out of the way of the film and shutter curtain. It is this movement of the shutter curtain and the mirror that gives taking a picture its distinctive "click" sound. As you become more familiar with your camera and shutter speed you will begin to notice the difference in the sound of the the "click" based on the speed of the shutter. In time, you will be able to tell about what shutter speed any camera in the room is using just by the sound of the shutter. Measuring Shutter Speed Measuring shutter speed is relatively simple. Shutter speed is generally measured in fractions of a second. A shutter speed of "5000" means that the shutter will open for 1/5000th of a second. Shutter speeds of 1 second and longer are generally marked with a ', or other similar mark, after the number. This means that 16' on your camera's display would stand for 16 seconds. The letter "B" is often used to indicate the shutter will remain open as long as you hold down the shutter release button. Slow Shutter Speed Shutter speed is considered to be "long" or "slow" when it is slower than 1/60th of a second. (Remember, this is marked as 60 on your camera dial or display.) This numbers comes from the fact that most people can only hold a standard lens (between  35mm and 70mm ) steady for 1/60th of a second or less. This is different from the commonly used term "long exposure" which usually refers to shutter speeds of over 1 second. Fast Shutter Speed Fast shutter speeds are generally considered to be those shutter speeds faster than 1/500th of a second. These shutter speeds are used to  freeze, or stop, motion  for a clear image when shooting fast subjects. Rule of Thumb A good rule of thumb for knowing the slowest shutter speed you can use with a particular lens, without using a tripod, is to use the number of the lens size. For example, a 300 mm lens can be hand held at shutter speeds of 1/300th of a second and faster. Note that the minimum hand held speed should never be below 1/60th of a second without image stabilization assistance from your camera or lens. How to Set Shutter Speed How to set shutter speed is a common question among new photographers. The process is actually very simple. Shutter speed is set on cameras by turning a specified dial on the camera body. In older, fully manual cameras, this is a dial on the top of the camera body that is marked with numbers ranging from 1 to about 5000. In newer cameras the shutter speed is generally displayed on an LCD screen while the photographer turns a small wheel near the shutter release button to adjust the speed. The exact placement of the wheel will vary from camera to camera. On point and shoot cameras, there may not be a control to select specific shutter speeds. Instead, you may need to understand your camera's pre-programmed modes to obtain the desired shutter speed. Many SLR cameras also have these pre-programmed modes as well as a few additional modes of fine control. More info go to :