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Digital Camera Know-Hows
Shutter Speed and Expression
Shutter speed provides two main functions. One is to control exposure. The other is to control the way motion is portrayed in a photo. When shooting a moving subject, a slow shutter speed setting results in a blurry subject, emphasizing its motion. With a fast shutter speed setting, the subject appears stationary in the photograph. When an ultra-high shutter speed is used, even an F-1 race car at full throttle can be captured sharply. By varying the shutter speed setting, it is possible to depict images in ways that the human eye cannot perceive.
Using the shutter speed for exposure control
The shutter speed refers to the length of time from the moment the shutter opens (to allow light to enter the camera) to the moment the shutter closes. Therefore, the shutter speed setting controls the amount of light that reaches the CCD (or the film in a film camera).
  • A slow shutter speed setting allows a greater amount of light to enter, and a fast shutter speed setting reduces the amount of light.
  • A fast shutter opening and closing speed is called a "fast shutter," while a slow opening and closing speed is referred to as a "slow shutter."
  • The shutter speed is indicated as a fraction of a second or seconds.
Shutter speed and exposure

Here, the aperture setting was kept the same,and the shutter speed was varied...
Aperture Value: F11
Shutter Speed:1/15sec. Shutter Speed:1/60sec. Shutter Speed:1/250sec.
At a slow shutter speed setting, too much light turned the image whitish. Appropriate shutter speed A fast shutter speed setting caused insufficient light, making the image dark.

Differences of image expression resulting from different shutter speeds
By altering the shutter speed setting, the subject's motion can be frozen, or the motion can simply be emphasised.

Slow shutter speed ( 1/15sec ) High shutter speed ( 1/500sec ) Ultra-high shutter speed ( 1/3000sec )
When a waterfall is shot at a slow shutter speed setting, the dynamic flow of the falling water is stressed, with the water appearing as if it were a single sheet of white cloth.
  • When shooting a sports scene or other fast action, a slow shutter speed can be selected to intentionally make the subject appear blurry and emphasise the motion.
When a high shutter speed is selected for shooting a waterfall, the water seems to freeze in motion.
  • A high shutter speed setting is useful for taking pictures of constantly moving subjects, such as a child with her puppy.
An ultra-high shutter speed can obtain sharp images of extremely fast moving subjects.
  • An ultra-high-speed shutter setting can be used to "grab" a crucial moment in a sports event or capture the image of a dynamically moving subject. The resulting image effects are quite different from what we perceive with our bare eyes.

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digital camera know-hows