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What kind of shutter speed do you need for digital photography?

When you take on photography as a hobby there are all sorts of new terms and features to learn.One of these is shutter speed.With the growth and popularity of digital photography many potential photographers are confused about what kind of shutter speed do they need to take successful photographs?Let us begin by first examining what shutter speed really is.

Shutter speed is defined as the time the shutter is held open during the taking of a photograph in order to allow light to reach the film or image sensor (that is used in digital cameras).The shutter speed regulates how much light the camera will record in combination with the variation of the lens aperture. For example: for any given exposure a fast shutter speed demands a larger aperture to avoid under exposure just like a slow shutter speed is offset by a very small aperture to avoid over exposure.For low light conditions such as at night long shutter speeds are often used.

Shutter speed is always measured in seconds. For photographs taken in sunlight a typical shutter speed is 1/125th of a second. Shutter speed changes the way movement appears in a picture in addition to its overall effect on exposure.For very fast moving subjects it is best to use a very short shutter speed. Many sports use very fast shutter speeds to capture the peak moment and freeze it in time. If the photographer wishes to intentionally blur a moving subject he or she will use a very long shutter speed giving the finished photograph a very artistic effect.For example if you want to show the passage of time such as with a running river or waterfall then you can use a slower shutter speed.

Now that you know what shutter speed how does it work with your digital camera?There are basically two types of shutters in digital cameras each quite different.Some cameras may have a plate that covers the image sensor found on the camera. The plate flips up and let's light onto the camera image sensor when you are shooting your photograph.The other type of shutter is called an iris because of the similarity in the way it works like a human eyeball.When you go to shoot a photograph the iris expands and let's light onto the cameras sensor.Either type of sensor (whether the plate stays up or the iris stays open) is still measured in the amount of time that it takes.Shutter speed is shown as measurements of fractions denoting the number of seconds.

Here is an example of shutter speed numbers, from fast to slow:
The top speed of 1/2000 of a second is incredibly fast and is not a shutter speed that you will typically use. The most common shutter speeds that are used are anywhere from 1/500 to 1/60. If you want sharp photographs while holding the camera in your hands, you cannot use shutter speeds much slower than 1/60 because it's hard to hold the camera steady. Slow shutter speeds may blur motion, and you are creating motion by holding the camera in your hands. You can solve this camera shake problem by stabilizing the camera on a tripod or if your camera is equipped with image stabilization.It is also important to note that most digital camera display the shutter speed in a single number.For example if you are using the shutter speed 1/750 than the display will most likely only show the bottom number of 750. Most digital cameras can be set to shutter priority mode. In this mode, you set the shutter speed and the camera automatically selects the aperture so that the photograph has the right exposure. This is just one of the many ease of use features that digital cameras now have.

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