Using your camera on Manual Mode: Shutter Speed Explained

In my previous blog post, Using your camera on manual mode - Lesson 1, I gave you a quick overview of the three settings you need to be able to access on your camera when you are on Manual Mode. 

These settings are: 

1. Shutter Speed

2. Exposure

3. ISO

Today, I would like to go into more details on how your shutter speed affects the end result of your picture. 

By setting your shutter speed, you decide how fast the blades of your lens open and close. They can open and close extremely fast (in 1/4000 of a second for instance). They can also stay open for a long time (such as 30 seconds!).

If you want to capture your children or a moving subject, I would recommend setting your shutter speed at a minimum of 1/250. Children move quite fast, so if you go lower than that, you might experience a little bit of motion blur.  In the following picture for instance, my son was running. I wanted to make sure to obtain a sharp photo so I set my shutter speed at 1/320. 

Using your camera on Manual Mode: Shutter Speed Explained

With that in mind, let's see what happens if we break this rule and let our shutter speed stay open for a much longer time with a moving subject :) 

Using your camera on Manual Mode: Shutter Speed Explained

(This fun photo was inspired by Nicole Sanchez's blog post on Capturing Childhood in Motion.) 

Here is another example of a photo taken with the intention of creating a motion blur effect. Shutter Speed: 1/60. You can see that I was able to obtain a gentle impression of movement.

Just one quick tip: if you decide to go for a slow shutter speed, you might have to use a tripod or keep your arms steady. In the first example taken in my living room, the camera was propped on the kitchen table. That way, I was able to get in the frame and make sure that the only blurry subject would be my son, moving full speed :)

Playing with your shutter speed can be a lot of fun! Just give it a try and tell me what you think!