How to Manually Expose Your Shutter Speed

Learn how to manually expose your shutter speed from professional photographer Luke Ballard in this Howcast video.


So manually exposing our photographs, we use 3 things. The ISO, the aperture, and the shutter speed. Let's just talk about how the shutter speed works. It's what happens when you press your button and the camera takes it in. It's how long it takes the camera to take that photograph. It generally ranges from 1/8000th of a second to about 30 seconds on most cameras. You can use bulb mode and have it open indefinitely, have that shutter open for as long as you want, as long as you've got power and as long as you've got memory card. We use a faster shutter speed to capture motion, to freeze something in time. We use a faster shutter speed for things like animals, kids playing, or sports.

Definitely for people. We use a slower shutter speed for things like landscapes for getting those beautiful reflections in water. The slower the shutter speed, the more time light has to enter the camera, the more vibrant the information it collects. Things like water, if it's not moving terrifically fast, will become reflective and still, almost like a mirror. If it's moving really really fast, like a waterfall, it's going to become misty and almost cloud-like. Using our shutter speed in conjunction with our ISO and our aperture allows us to correctly expose the photograph and do it in balance to take a better image.

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