Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: shutter speeds

Best shutter speeds for every situation

When teaching about shutter speeds on our Understanding Your DSLR Camera course I tell my students that to become a successful photographer, to have complete control over their cameras, to not have to think about what shutter speed they need to use in every situation, they need to practise and learn by their own experience. I joke that doubtless there is somewhere on the web there is a list  created by some sad individual of the shutter speeds required to photograph absolutely everything. I say they could search for it and download it and carry it with them all the time, but I also say they will never be a photographer if they do. Experience is the best thing you can have, better than any accessory. well now there is that list and here it is for you

From those usual denizens of good sense Digital Camera World

Do you struggle with finding the best shutter speeds when shooting unfamiliar subject matter? It can be difficult to know how to set up your camera to freeze movement, capture motion blur and other popular digital camera effects.

In the latest of our ongoing photography cheat sheet series, we’ve put together our list of what we believe are the best shutter speeds for every situation.

We spell out each shutter speed and what it is typically used for, and we also have provided a super-quick guide on how to adjust your shutter speed.


Stretching and freezing time……

Just a minute, no this is nothing to do with the LHC at Cerne. This article, by one of our favourite writers  on the Lightstalking site is about the use of shutter speeds to stretch or capture time in the briefest moments. It is one of the things that photography allows you to do in ways that you can only conceptualise, because you can’t see it in life. Here is some of what Tom has to say

“One of the fundamental tools that a photographer has at his/her disposal is the ability to record time. This isn’t just the moment in time, or the ‘decisive moment’, as Cartier-Bresson called it, but the duration of the time interval as well. It’s a matter of when and how long We can not only get the sense that we are witnessing a precise moment in history but there is a passage of time, an event taking place that requires of the viewer, an understanding of progression; moving from one place to another, moving forward in time and space”….more