The photographer selects the shutter speed, which controls the exposure time, during which the sensor is exposed to light. It seems easy, at first, to photograph the Moon, but have you ever struggled to get it sharp even when the focus was ok? Once again, the idea is to take many photos to be combined later to create a more detailed image of your target. They also work well for long exposure photography of moving objects producing a motion blur effect in clouds and water. This is a bad thing. Once you learn the basics, you’ll find out that night photography is really fun. These long shutter speeds are used to create motion blur in landscape, street and travel photography. How to use and balance aperture, shutter speed, and ISO at night Knowing the information from the camera input shutter speed the photographer could calculate the actual speed of the shutter, although this is not required. In astrophotography, the shutter speed is, if possible, even more crucial, as it is responsible for the balance between the need to collect enough light and to have pinpoint stars for the best image quality. As stated above, objects which move across the composition produce motion blur. But there is much more than getting the exposure right when it comes to shutter speed. } Why Is Shutter Speed Important In Photography (Especially Astrophotography)? For example, a stop up in shutter speed would require a stop down in ISO, f-stop, or a combination of both, to maintain the same image brightness. The shutter speed, in this case, is limited by the tracking accuracy of your mount and by the brightness of the sky due to light pollution. What to Bring for Night Photography Breckenridge, Colorado – Exposure: shutter speed 15 seconds, aperture f/2.8, ISO 3200. If you’re new to photography, skip on to the next section and come back later. This section contains a more advanced concept. ); There is a maximum amount of light information each pixel can collect, known as full well capacity. They excel at moving the viewer’s eyes through the composition with image attributes that would not have existed at shorter shutter speeds. This page is part of my Photography Fundamentals Tutorial Series. forms: { To approximate the maximum shutter speed required for handheld shooting, without motion blur, take 1 and divide it by the effective focal length. The good news is that you will not need much in the way of extra gear. Stops allow you to easily compare the amount of light captured by one shutter speed setting compared to another. A decrease of 1 stop decreases the amount of light by half, creating a darker exposure with less motion blur. The obvious effects of using slow shutter speeds are increasing the brightness of the image and introducing motion blur in it. Follow these eight useful techniques to help you shoot in the dark. The shutter speed in night photography lasts longer than one second, or most of the time longer than that. The Moon with the looney-11 rule. When the shutter (door) is open the sensor starts collecting light information about the scene being photographed. Slow shutter speeds are also used to photograph the Milky Way or other objects at night, or in dim environments with a tripod. event : evt, This is known as stopping up. Three, five, ten, twenty seconds or more. An exposure stop, or stop for short, provides a universal scale to measure the increase and decrease in light, exposed to the image sensor, due to changes in shutter speed & f-stop. My widest aperture was still not wide enough, and my shutter speed was about 1/40th of a second, but still, I have 5-stops image stabilization in my camera, so no problem, right? When you press the “shutter button” to take an image, the shutter opens and the sensor is exposed to light for the amount of time denoted by the shutter speed setting. Only when I lowered my shutter speed to 1/125th, I started to be able to freeze the dancers. In the following sections, we will discuss this topic in detail. The main drawback of this design is that when using a flash, you cannot use a shutter speed faster than a certain value (called sync speed), or you will see the curtains in the image. The main effect in using a fast shutter speed is freezing any movement, both in the scene and with the camera, typically from the camera shaking when photographing handheld. The slowest shutter speed you can use is then 500/14 = 35.7; anything below 35 seconds should give sharp stars. A friend of mine once told me: “The shutter speed is that thing you messed up when getting blurred images instead of sharp ones, and sharp images when you want them to be blurred.”. After the desired amount of time, the other curtain (2nd curtain) moves in, covering the sensor again. Landscape photographers may intentionally use long shutter speeds to create a sense of motion on rivers and waterfalls, while keeping everything else completely sharp. This is where creativity, practice & foresight really come into play! Copyright © 2009–2020 Dave Morrow Photography LLC, All Rights Reserved | Contact & Licensing & Website Disclosure, Shutter Speed Chart & Camera Technique Video, Shutter Speed Chart & Exposure Time Basics. Most cameras today use a vertical-travel shutter. The following image shows the RAW file above, with a 1 stop post processing decrease, matching what was actually seen in reality.