Play with shutter speed

Play with shutter speed

Practice makes perfect it is called and so get out there and have fun while you practice. The more you are out photographing, the better you will become. So out in the nature (or like me to a playground) with your camera now that the weather is starting to turn warmer and a little bit more comfortable being out for longer periods of time.

Here I will give you some handy tips on how to play with your camera’s shutter speed.

tjej som gungar i Västerås
ISO 200 Shutter speed 1/15 sek Aperture F. 5.6

Shutter speed can create speed in your images.

Your shutter speed can give the effect of really high speed to your images as well as freeze it for a moment to make it look like something has stopped while you were photographing it.

Here I have played a bit with the shutter speed and documented it so you can see the difference in how much more speed it looks like it is in the photograrphs, even though what you are photographing has more or less the same speed the whole time.

In this case, I have a girl on a swing in a playground here in Västerås, Sweden.

I pushed her at regular intervals so that she would have about the same speed through out, while I was capturing her.

Take a look at what different emotions the pictures give you as a viewer and how different the speed of the girls looks like and the only difference is the speed of the cameras shutter. The slowest shutter speed I had was 1/15 second and the fastest I had was 1/500 second. On the latter I have frozen the moment so it looks like the girl on the swing is completely still and photographed without speed.

Liten tjej som gungar utomhus i Västerås
ISO 200 Shutter speed 1/15 sek Aperture F. 5.6

Shutter speed creates feelings in your images.

You can change the feeling in your images by changing the shutter speed you use, of course, which aperture you use as well.

With these examples I am more interested in showing you the difference, different shutter speeds gives your images. I also changed the ISO and aperture a little but it was a must not to overexpose the image. When you have a longer shutter speed, you keep the camera's sensor open longer and the picture becomes brighter. At quick shutter speeds, the sensor is open for a very short time.

Tjej som står på en gunga i Västerås
ISO 320 Shutter speed 1/500sek Aperture F. 3.5

Create sun flicker.

I chose to photograph against the sun, I really like the light when what I photograph is between me and the sun then I can play with what the sun looks like, You can play with whatever aperture you have ie if you want the sun to get a pretty starburst look or if you want the one I have done in these pictures to be a bigger blob and to get sun flicker into the lens (I had not mounted my lens hood on the lens). I think this light gives the image more feeling.

Tjej som står på en natur gunga i Västerås
ISO 320 Shutter speed 1/500sek Aperture F. 3.5

A quick shutter speed freezes a moment.

The pictures above I have used a relatively fast shutter speed (1 / 5oo sec) and thus frozen the girl standing on the swing so that it looks like she has been standing still the whole time while I was photographing.

Tjej som gungar i Västerås
ISO 320 Shutter speed 1/500sek Aperture F. 3.5

The meaning of the sun!

The picture above I have angled so I do not have the sun completely behind me but almost it is not included in the picture anyway and thus does not help as much with creating emotion in the picture. The girl's movement stops because I have the same shutter speed as those when the girl stands up on the swing, but do you like the pictures when she stands up more? Or is it just me?

Tjej som gungar op en gunga i Västerås
ISO 200 Shutter speed 1/15sek Aperture F. 5.6

Create cool motion blur

Here I have been playing with shutter speed while at the same time moving my Canon 24-70mm F.2.8 lens, ie I zoomed out while pressing the shutter button to take a picture. For me, it's easier to have the lens zoomed in from the beginning and while I press the shutter zoom out compared to the opposite, I got great effects that way. So there are two steps you need to do simultaneously to get the effect. I hand held the camera this time I did this but have also tried to do it when the camera is on a tripod and it can be a little bit easier since you do not have to think about holding the camera still while doing the two steps. 

Which end time is right?

I can't say which shutter speed to use, but it all depends on how much light you have around you. If it is super bright then you may need to use without an ND filter to be able to use long shutter speeds. You can read more about how ND filters work here .

Tjej som gungar på en naturgunga
ISO 320 Shutter speed 1/500sek Aperture F. 3.5

Play with shutter speed

Out and test yourself this is when you will start to understand what is happening, the relationship between shutter speed and the speed of the object you are photographing.

Get out and test and above all have fun! I had that this day, while the girl had fun on the swinging as well. So everyone had fun. 

If you have any questions, just ask them in the comments below. Or book a private photo workshop with me and we go out and play together and you get hands on learning how to do it. Read more about my private photo courses here .

/ Helen Shippey

Photographer in Västerås, Sweden!

tjej som står på en gunna ute i naturen i Vasterås
ISO 320 Shutter speed 1/500sek Aperture F. 3.5

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Företagsfotograf Västerås Helen Shippey

About me

My name is Helen and I love to create and happily share what I create with my cameras / drones.

Join me on my photography assignments.

You can call me Shippey, my friends does!


Has; Apprentice Letter in Photography