Shutter Speed Example
Here are two photos of the same fountain shot at different shutter speeds. The top picture was taken at a fairly fast speed, about 1/500th of a second and has frozen the drops of water in mid air.
The bottom photo was taken using a slower shutter speed, in other words the shutter was open for a longer time, which has allowed the fast moving water to blur a little. I don't remember what the shutter speed setting was for this shot but I would guess it was about 1/30th of a second because the camera was handheld and the bowl is quite sharp. At shutter speeds slower than 1/30th of a second it is quite difficult to hold the camera steady enough to get a sharp image. You need to use a tripod.
The static bowl of the fountain remains the same in both photos.
Whilst adjusting the shutter speed it is necessary to adjust the aperture in the opposite direction to ensure that the same amount of exposure is given to the film. If you use the 'shutter speed priority' setting on your camera this will be done automatically for you.
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Other tutorials in this section
Getting away from the auto settings.
An explanation of the mechanics of exposure and the side effects of choosing different aperture/shutter speed combinations.
Overriding the automatic metering system.
What they are trying to tell you.
Setting up your camera to take a series of pictures at different exposures.
Another piece of the exposure puzzle.
An explanation, strictly for the jargon heads.