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Shutter Speed Basics

Lesson 4 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

Shutter Speed Basics

Lesson 4 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

4. Shutter Speed Basics


Class Trailer

Photographic Characteristics


Camera Types


Shutter System


Shutter Speed Basics


Camera Settings Overview


Camera Settings - Details


Sensor Size: Basics


Focal Length


Lesson Info

Shutter Speed Basics

all right, we're gonna get to one of my favorite sections, and it's one of the most basic. But it's also one of the most fundamental. An important sections, two photographers, and that is understanding cheddar speeds. Conceptually, it's pretty easy, but there's a little little nuances that you need to be very, very good at here. So this is a an answer yourself quiz on this one. And the question is, which one of these two numbers is larger? It may seem like a very easy question. Nobody's pulled out their IPhone, Teoh. Like which number is large? Google. That's what number is larger. And we don't even have to think about these things, right? We're not. We're not gonna pull out a calculator to do this. We immediately know eight is bigger than two. But in our cameras, when we talk about shutter speeds, they're pretty much always listed infractions. But the thing is, is the camera isn't telling you they're fractions. It's assumed that, you know, and a lot of times people get confused. It's ...

like it's bigger. Oh, wait, no, it's reverse because we're doing reciprocal Zehren. It's one over eighth and eighth of a second is a smaller amount of time than 1/2 2nd And so just be aware that when you're looking at shutter speeds, they're actually fractions of a second in most cases. So we've got our list of shutter speeds here. And if you were to look through the viewfinder of your camera, you at home, take a take your camera out. Look through the viewfinder, turn the camera on. I don't care what motives in, but usually the first number on the left. What does that mean? It's first. That means it's probably a really important number, right? So that's gonna be your shutter speed. Now, in some cases, like Canon Nikon, they'll say 2000 or 500 it's really 11 2500. Some of the new muralist cameras, which have shall we say, better displays with more graphics will actually tell you it's 1 So you need to learn what your camera does. Remember that from beginning class. You need toe work, your camera. All right, so here is our list of shutter speeds. Now, I guess I should stop at this moment and explain that shutter speed is a terrible name it's completely misleading. The speed of the shutter does not changing your camera. It always. At least I believe I don't know. I believe it operates at exactly the same speed for every single shot. It's the difference between windows. The 1st 1 open and the 2nd 1 close that time difference. That exposure time difference is the difference between the shutter speeds. And so it might help, conceptually, to think exposure time. How much time is the sensor exposed toe light. All right. I always like to start Simple. So I think all of you know what one second is. That's about a second, right? All right, so we all know what a second is. When we go to two seconds, we've doubled the amount of time and we've doubled the amount of light. It's a linear scale. It's a one for one trade off here. And so if we want it longer, we get twice as much light in that way. Now, this is something that we're gonna talk about. Full stops. It means we've doubled or we've cut in half. And so when you hear someone talk about a full stop, that means they want it twice as bright or twice a stark depends on what other words they say, whether they want to go up or down in that direction. So to double or to cut in half the longest shutter speed on many cameras will be around 30 seconds. Not really much reason for it other than you goto one minute. Well, that's a whole different numbering system there. So 30 seconds is kind of a nice number, but some cameras were going well beyond that. Now, when we get up to 1/2 2nd it's half assed. Much time. It's half assed, much light, same scale. It works the whole way up and down. Now it gets kind of interesting here because I I know there's some very passionate people here and in politics and in math, right? Some of you are our fraction people, and some of you are decimal people. I can just tell let's not have any arguments in here, all right, but sometimes your camera might say to some cameras say to which means one over to sometimes some cameras say zero quotation five, and it says quotation not point, because they're too cheap to put a point in there and they just use the quotations over there. And so that's 0.5 and they mean the same thing. They're both half a second, and so that is going to be a full stop less light than one second, because it's half assed much time. Ah, pretty normal shutter speed is 1/60 of a second. But remember, when you look in your camera is going to say 60 it's not going to say 1/60. In most cases, the top shutter speed on most cameras is gonna be about an 8/1000 of a second. And so this is the range of shutter speeds that you're likely to deal with now something we we don't need to know. But I want to share with you some of the history of why this doubling is like this in photography and photographers used to judge everything on the E V scale exposure value scale. They wanted to come up with a light metering system for photographers so that we could figure out what's give me a number and I will figure out what shutter speeds and apertures I want. And so I remember I used to own a Hasselblad camera and they had an E V setting on there and you could keep it at E V eight, and you could have shutter speeds and apertures of this or shutter speeds aptitudes that you could change it around. So it's one simple number that tells you how much light you are receiving right now. We don't use this. We usually say, Well, it's 500 to 8 at ISO 800. That's kind of a lot of words here. And so they used to measure light on an E V scale. And E V zero is roughly I s 0 100 f 1.4 at one second, which was kind of the darkest situation that they imagined photographers ever get involved in. And this was way back when they invented the scale, which, I don't know, might have been in the twenties or thirties. I haven't done my research on this one yet, and so that's really dark. Now when you goto one from zero, we're doubling the light. And so every time we go up one on the scale, we double the light. There's a great difference between when it's dark and it's light, and this is how we can do this. So indoor room lights I have often found are around six. I have a light meter that actually reads this out in E V. All right, so you want to go outside on a nice, uh, nice day in Seattle? That would be a cloudy day. Uh, that B 12. You want to go outside on a bright, sunny day that's gonna be around 15. But the scale doesn't limit here. You can go as far as you want. If you want to have a really bright light and get your light meter camera right next to it, it could be really bright. It can also go into the negatives, which there's like negative light. No, it's just that they based zero on this setting, and they didn't for see cameras being able to record in darker situations. And so some cameras will be able to auto focus at E V minus four or E V minus five, which I don't know exactly what that is, but it's really dark. It's not nothing. It's just really, really dark. It's not very much light there, and so this is an E V scale, and if you get a handheld light meter. That's usually one of the options. You can put it in evey readings or shutter speeds and apertures type readings. And so that's how we kind of got to this whole changing by a full stop and so we can change our shutter speeds by a full stop here. Now, as you actually dial your shutter speed on your camera, changing these settings, you'll notice that you can get to third stops. And that's because photographers from time to time like to be very picky and precise about what they're doing. And so weaken set third stops. But what about quarter stops? What about 10 stops? Why doesn't my camera have 10th stops on? Well, not really necessary. If we were to look at two photos and have one photo, just the smallest amount brighter that we would all say, it's brighter, but barely anything at all. That is about 1/3 of a stop right there. Ah, stop. Brighter is gonna be OK. That's noticeably brighter than this one. It's like a baby step. And so, if you need to set a tiny third of a stop perfectly fine, I don't like listening them because it clutters up my screen with too many numbers. So I'm going to stick with the whole numbers as we go through the rest of the class. There's a few cameras out there that have something called an ex sink X is kind of your, Ah, your nickname for flash your flash synchronisation and so some cameras. You can dial in a special number for the flash synchronisation. Let's say you like the flash to fire at 101 101 over 1 25 125th of a second. You could dial that in and have that set. What a number of cameras have is a bulb setting and bulb setting refers back to the old days of photography, where they had a cable release and they pushed it in on their big view camera and it left the shutter open. And so they might be, You know, Ansel Adams there for 30 seconds holding the exposure open and then when he took his finger off, it closed the shutter. So it's any length you want, Um, and it's going to typically only be useful over 30 seconds, things that you want to leave open for a long period of time. All the modern cable releases have a little lock on them. So if you want to leave it open for five minutes, you don't have toe. Use your thumb. You can just kind of turn it on. Lock it in. So that's for nighttime exposures. Now, why are we going to choose cheddar speeds? This is the real thing. Technical reasons we want to let in less light. We're gonna choose a faster shutter speed if we want to let in more light. We might want to choose to let in that with a longer shutter speed. But for aesthetic reasons, we might want to freeze motion with a faster shutter speed. And we might want a blur motion. Yes. Sometimes we like things blurry photography. We're gonna choose a slower shutter speed for it. And that means we have two different motivations. We're gonna do this, we're gonna do that. And sometimes these air in conflict artistically, you want to do something in your photograph. But technically it won't work. So you got to know the ways to work around it. So there's a lot of things involved hearing just knowing what these do is the first step on it.

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