Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Noting shutter speed

From: Foundations of Photography: Exposure

Video: Noting shutter speed

Violinists practice scales, painters practice line, people who are lousy at their craft don't practice at all. Now you can probably get where I am going with this: to be a good photographer you have to practice-- you have to practice a lot. Just as a violinist practices scales until they are in her fingers, you've got to practice shooting until certain things are muscle memory. You have learned the importance of half-pressing your shutter button to autofocus and meter. That's your first kind of muscle-memory habit. Your second one has to be to always take note of shutter speed after you meter. Here is why.

Noting shutter speed

Violinists practice scales, painters practice line, people who are lousy at their craft don't practice at all. Now you can probably get where I am going with this: to be a good photographer you have to practice-- you have to practice a lot. Just as a violinist practices scales until they are in her fingers, you've got to practice shooting until certain things are muscle memory. You have learned the importance of half-pressing your shutter button to autofocus and meter. That's your first kind of muscle-memory habit. Your second one has to be to always take note of shutter speed after you meter. Here is why.

You have seen that a slow shutter speed can blur things in an image, and you understand that when I am shooting at a slower shutter speed, there is a chance that camera-shake is going to render my entire image soft or blurry. That means that every single time you half-press that shutter button to meter, you have to take note of your shutter speed to find out if it is fast enough to get a good shot. Now if you are on a tripod, this isn't going to matter, but when we are shooting handheld, you have to always note shutter speed to make sure it is fast enough for handheld shooting.

Now I am out here in bright daylight right now. It's full-on afternoon daylight. So I am going to meter on these flowers here, and I see that I get a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second. That is plenty fast for handheld shooting. There are going to be other times though when you might see that your shutter speed is a little bit too slow. Let's take a look at one of them. Take a situation like this. This should feel somewhat familiar to you. I am in a restaurant. Some friends are here. I just want to take some pictures of them. It's much, much lower light in here than it was outside.

In fact, it's so low that when I meter, my shutter speed is reading a third of a second. A third of a second is way too slow for handheld shooting. At a third of a second, any tiny, little shake is going to appear in my image as blurriness. So this is why it is so critical that you always, always, always, always take note of the shutter speed after you meter, because this is a fairly normal situation we are in, the kind of situation where you are going to want to take pictures. The inside of your house is probably like this, the inside of your office, inside of a restaurant, any kind of social situation where you are wanting to shoot, you are going to very potentially be facing a lower shutter speed problem.

Now, how slow is too slow? To be honest, there is a fairly exacting formula you can use for calculating the minimum shutter speed that's allowed when shooting handheld. We are not going to go into that right now. You can learn about that in the lenses course. We are just going to, for now, use a blanket shutter speed, and say, if your shutter speed is reading less then a 60th of a second, you are in danger of camera shake. You are possibly in the realm of shutter speed that is too slow. So what do you do? I come into a place like this. My friends are here. I want to shoot them, and my camera meters a third of a second.

Well, there are a couple of things that we are going to learn later that you can do. We don't want to get to those yet. First, I want you to develop this habit, in the meantime. When you face this kind of situation, when your shutter speed drops below a 60th of a second, you need to decide to either, well, this is too slow, I am just not going to take this picture, or you have got to work really, really hard to stabilize your camera. In this case, because I am standing up, stabilization is pretty easy. I put my elbows at my side. I keep them there. I put my camera in this hand. It is being buttressed by this elbow. My other hand goes here.

I raise the camera all the way to my eye. I don't hold the camera out here and put my head up to it. I come all the way up here. This is a very, very, very stable way to shoot. I can also try to set the camera on something. Stabilize it this way. If I am sitting down, I can rest my elbows on the table. It might technically be bad etiquette, but for photography it is a great thing-- anything you can to get the camera stable. Now a little bit later you can learn some exposure tricks to get you out of these low-shutter-speed situations, but I don't want you to go there yet. Right now your goal is to develop a muscle-memory-ingrained habit that every single time you meter, you read that shutter speed and find out if it's fast enough for you to get the shot you want.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Foundations of Photography: Exposure
Foundations of Photography: Exposure

64 video lessons · 84255 viewers

Ben Long
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 8m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 56s
    2. What is exposure?
      4m 8s
    3. A word about camera brands
      2m 40s
  2. 9m 32s
    1. What is a camera?
      2m 53s
    2. The shutter
      3m 53s
    3. The aperture
      1m 33s
    4. Exposure defined
      1m 13s
  3. 13m 50s
    1. Modes
      2m 7s
    2. Pressing the shutter button
      2m 54s
    3. Autofocus
      5m 22s
    4. Light metering
      2m 3s
    5. White balance
      1m 24s
  4. 29m 26s
    1. Shooting sharp images
      1m 58s
    2. Noting shutter speed
      4m 3s
    3. Taking control of shutter speed
      1m 30s
    4. Stop defined
      2m 50s
    5. Shutter priority mode
      4m 34s
    6. Exercise: Shutter speed
      40s
    7. Reciprocity
      3m 13s
    8. Controlling motion
      7m 8s
    9. Shutter speed increments
      2m 21s
    10. Exercise: Go work with shutter speed
      1m 9s
  5. 26m 3s
    1. Depth of field
      1m 53s
    2. How aperture is measured
      2m 42s
    3. Aperture priority mode
      4m 57s
    4. Lens speed
      53s
    5. Shooting deep depth of field
      3m 53s
    6. Shooting shallow depth of field
      2m 50s
    7. The depth-of-field preview button
      4m 24s
    8. How shallow should you be?
      2m 47s
    9. Exercise: Go work with aperture
      1m 44s
  6. 16m 26s
    1. ISO: The third exposure parameter
      6m 27s
    2. Assessing your camera's high ISO
      5m 32s
    3. Shooting in low light
      3m 32s
    4. Exercise: Shooting in low light
      55s
  7. 14m 30s
    1. White balance controls
      5m 37s
    2. Adjusting white balance manually
      4m 25s
    3. Shooting raw
      4m 28s
  8. 6m 3s
    1. How light meters work
      1m 47s
    2. Why are there different modes?
      4m 16s
  9. 33m 59s
    1. Exposure compensation
      4m 0s
    2. Intentional overexposure
      2m 40s
    3. Intentional underexposure
      1m 42s
    4. Controlling tone
      2m 31s
    5. The histogram
      10m 4s
    6. Real-world histograms
      5m 49s
    7. Tone and color
      2m 16s
    8. Auto exposure bracketing
      3m 58s
    9. Exercise: Go work with exposure compensation
      59s
  10. 12m 56s
    1. Dynamic range
      2m 24s
    2. Exposing for highlights
      4m 15s
    3. Fill flash
      3m 11s
    4. Three solutions to the same problem
      3m 6s
  11. 12m 26s
    1. Manual mode
      2m 6s
    2. Manual mode and light meters
      4m 52s
    3. Manual exposure exercise
      5m 28s
  12. 12m 1s
    1. Custom modes and A-DEP
      1m 39s
    2. Program shift
      3m 52s
    3. Exposure compensation with program shift
      1m 58s
    4. An exercise in reciprocity
      53s
    5. Scene modes and in-camera processing
      3m 39s
  13. 8m 16s
    1. Shooting with post production in mind
      3m 46s
    2. Exposure strategy
      3m 51s
    3. Goodbye
      39s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Exposure.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.