What is the Camera Shutter Speed and what does it do?

The camera shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open for when taking your picture. What is a shutter? Well think about it this way – you have blinds on your window leave them closed, open them and close them, that’s what a shutter is doing. It opens quickly and closes to let some light onto the sensor in the camera.

Why does the it matter? Well a quick speed will only catch a little bit of light where a slower shutter will catch a lot.

Why do we need to use different speeds? Well lets say you are taking a picture of a race car. A very quick shutter (say 1/1000th of a second) will get you a car that has stopped (like it is standing still). A slow shutter speed (say 1/30th of a second) will show a blurred car as it drives past.

The other reason we change the speed is after we have changed the camera aperture to adjust the field of view. We then need to adjust the shutter speed to compensate for the lack of light that the aperture allows in. Typically in sunset photography we will be looking at 1/100th to 1/2 a second.

What is the Camera Shutter Speed and what does it do?

This depends upon the ISO rating that the camera is set to but in general about 1/30th to 1/50th of a second is a good time. At 1/30th of a second you really need a stabilizer (tripod) to hold the camera steady.