SHUTTER SPEED – What is it, how to measure and how to use

The shutter speed is the length of time that a camera's shutter is open to expose the camera's sensor to light. The aperture is used to modify the depth of field and the shutter speed to blur or frozen motion.

Sure you are interested in reading about:CMARA OF PHOTOS | Types, parts and complete operation

What is a shutter?

It is a device of a photographic camera that allows to regulate the time that the photosensitive sensor is exposed to light. It has a function similar to the diaphragm but its main difference is that it does not regulate the intensity of the light input but the exposure time to it.

What is the shutter speed?

The shutter speed which is also known as exposure time, is one of the three fundamental aspects of the photographic exposure, in the same way as the aperture of the diaphragm and the ISO sensitivity.

With shutter speed control, more or less light can be passed to the camera sensor, which implies that freeze or not the movement.

What can be done by controlling the shutter speed?


  • Freeze images Capture frozen or aesthetic moving elements.
  • Capture movement If the movement of the effects is captured. If the movement is defrosted and if the same movement is captured with a light shade.
  • Blur or Silk Effect It is widely used in water to capture the movement.
  • Paint or color with light It is given at low speeds, in order to create objects that shed light.

How to measure the shutter speed?

The shutter speed It is measured in seconds or most of the time in fractions of seconds. In this case, the largest is the denominator and the fastest of the speed, therefore 1/1000 is much faster than 1/30.

For measure shutter speed it is necessary to configure the camera to Opening Priority and on that screen observe the information in the viewfinder and in a dark area. Remember the numbers you see and then change to a place that is very bright to see the changes in these numbers. Note that the number that changes is the shutter speed.

How to use shutter speed?


  • Values ​​to use shutter speed well The key in this case lies in the movement. With good use you can create animated images and give movement to the subject without blurring the image or if you want to blur it.
  • Stability in avoiding bad habits Even if a good shutter speed is chosen, stability is key so that the selected shutter speed can be used well. It is very important that the person in charge avoids movements such as: pitching or turning movement and the movement of movement.
  • Basic knowledge of action photography It is necessary to study the key moment and the continuous focus with the pre-focus. It is very important so that blurred or low quality shots are not obtained as a result. In addition to learning to identify the second most appropriate for a high quality shot.
  • Know the activity to be photographed A car race is not the same as the photograph of an open country landscape. In other words, it is very important that the photographer take a previous time to investigate the activity and thus have previous ideas about what are the values ​​to be managed, the appropriate moments to take a shot, among other variables.
  • High speeds and lower speeds Depending on the time the shutter is open, the shutter speed can be identified. It is a key issue in terms of the scene, a slow speed is appropriate when the background is stopped and the main subject the movement. If you want to freeze, you have to do a good sweep, then also slowing down is the most pertinent.

Examples of shutter speed

Slow Shutter Speed ​​/ Exposure Time Long

Fast Shutter Speed ​​/ Short Exposure Time