Shutter speed and ISO – How they Work

DSLRs can be tricky to learn, and even harder to use. These tips are essential in learning how to use shutter speed and ISO.

Three things factor in how lighting is shot with a DSLR. The first being aperture, otherwise known as f stops.

Shutter Speed

Aperture settings on DSLRs are usually adjusted to make the photo darker or lighter. The aperture is like a pupil and iris of an eye. The higher the setting such as f 16, will only allow a minimal portion of light to enter the lens, whereas f 1.4, will allow a lot of light in. Since aperture settings usually vary from lens to lens, it is wise to consult the directions or box to understand their range. Shutter speed and ISO on the other hand, directly relate to the DSLR body itself. ISO settings are the last thing that should be raised in a dark setting. High ISO settings lead to grainier, pixilated photography and in some instances ruin a photo. ISO settings should remain at 100-200 ISO in daytime photography, and shouldn’t go above 800 as a general rule.

shutter speed

To compensate for the ISO guidelines, the shutter speed settings should be the first thing adjusted when changing exposure. Shutter speed determines the rate in which the camera takes the picture. Higher numbers 125+ means the camera will take the picture more quickly, while lower numbers such as 30 will result in the camera taking a slow picture. To ensure no blurry photographs while taking a picture, it is best to use a tripod. Shutter speed settings are easily changed, and can influence the way a picture turns out. Do you want a waterfall looking like water is flowing constantly? Use a lower setting. Want a picture of your dog catching a Frisbee mid-air? Use a higher one.

These tips will help you start taking amazing photographs with perfect exposure levels! Start with shutter speed, and if that doesn’t fix the problem try aperture. Lastly, if you’re out of options (such as trying a different lens) raise the ISO, though be warned the picture might turn out grainier than you would like.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

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