Graphic Design

Basic DSLR Tutorial 2: Shutter Speed – Tipster Friday

More DSLR basics for you as Tipster Friday continues this week with the 2nd part of our 3-part tutorial. This week’s topic covers the basics of shutter speed for your DSLR camera.

Want to know how to brighten or darken your image? Want to know how to take the blur out of a moving target or how to capture a blur on film? Tipster, Ara, shows how to accomplish both. It only takes one setting, and she’ll show you which direction will create the effect you’re looking for.

Video Transcription

Hey everyone, it’s Tipster Friday where I give you tips you’ve probably never heard of. Last week was the start of this sweet 3 part DSLR camera tutorial I decided to do for you guys. Check out Part 1 about aperture by clicking here. 

This week we’re going to talk about… 

DSLR Basics – Shutter Speed 

So…the easiest way to understand shutter speed is to think of the camera like your eye. The shutter is like your eyelid. You measure shutter speed in the fractions of seconds that the shutter is open. 

Now don’t freak out! We’re going to get a little “mathy” here. Here are some basic shutter speeds. 

When you set the shutter speed to “1/4” this means the shutter is open for one fourth of a second. In the same way, if you set it to 1/500, the shutter is open for only one five-hundredth of a second. That’s really fast! 

So…what does all this mean? Well, to begin with, each time you shift from one shutter speed to the next, you either halve or double the amount of light hitting the sensor. So…if you go from 1/30 to 1/60, you’re halving the amount of light hitting the sensor. If you go from 1/30 to 1/15, you double the amount of light hitting the sensor. 

Check this out. This is my good friend Otto. Here’s Otto posing at f13 with a shutter speed of 1/200. 

Here’s the same photo at F13 but with a shutter speed of 1/30. See what happened? There’s 8 times more light hitting the sensor which way over-exposes the image. 

Another consideration with shutter speed is motion. Here’s Otto again. When he’s riding his vintage road bike past his camera with a shutter speed at 1/40, there’s quite a lot of motion blur. The same photo at 1/500 comes out crisp and clean. 

A very basic rule of thumb is anything above 1/60 will produce a fairly sharp image. Anything under 1/60 tends to produce motion blur, which isn’t always a bad thing. 

Check out this photo of Otto dancing with glow sticks. Now if that isn’t art, I don’t know what is. 

Thanks Otto! 

That’s all for this week! Next time, we’ll talk about this mysterious acronym… 

Did you miss part 1? Click right here to watch. I’ll see you next week!