Controlling Motion in Your Photographs Using Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is a critical factor in capturing motion in a photograph.

The shutter is the door controlling how long light can enter the camera allowing the sensor to burn the image. The shutter works synergistically with other factors: aperture, ISO, and focus. We are concentrating on shutter speed today. Set your camera mode to TV to allow you to control shutter speed and the camera to control the other factors.

Faster shutter speeds freeze the image in time. Slower speeds show more blur, which reads as motion.

Create beautiful effects using slower shutter speeds photographing moving images such as a waterfall or the ocean. Since the speed is slower, you need a very still camera. Using a tripod is a good idea to avoid the blur you get with the camera shaking.

If you want to see speed of motion in your picture, some parts should display blurs that look like speed lines. To achieve this effect, slow down the shutter speed.

If you want your image to look like it is frozen in time, use a faster shutter speed.

Set your camera to TV mode. You control the shutter speed and the camera control the other settings.

Try different shutter speeds and track your results: 1/60, 1/200, 1/1000

Send us your photography questions to and Mark will continue to tell you about his techniques.

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