Choose the Right Shutter Speed for the BEST Photos Possible (VIDEO)

Everyone knows how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO interact to arrive at properly exposed photos. But nailing exposure is only part of the challenge if you want to create images with maximum impact.

Many photographers begin by selecting an f/stop before moving on to ISO and shutter speed, because their primary concern is controlling depth of field. But there are other characteristics of good photos, including obtaining maximum sharpness, conveying a sense of motion, stopping action, and more.

In the tutorial below from our friends at The Photographic Eye you’ll see why one pro says shutter speed is the place to start—despite the fact that “aperture typically gets all the plaudits.” The idea is that by thoughtfully setting shutter speed you’ll make better photos with an artistic touch.

Instructor Alex Kilbee is a British pro dedicated to the finer points of our craft. He puts it like this: “Shutter speed is the thing you must understand and master if you want to capture memorable photos.” He provides notable images from iconic photographers to illustrate his recommended techniques.

Kilbee begins with a discussion of slow shutter speeds, explaining how long exposures can result in unique images—whether you’re shooting sports or want to convey an ethereal sense of motion in landscape images with cotton-like clouds, soft flowing water, or the sun tracing a path across the sky.

Of course there are other times when fast shutter speeds are called for, like when your goal is to stop motion “at the point of maximum eventness”—more commonly known as “the decisive moment.”

Choosing the right shutter speed for a particular scene is neither difficult nor set in stone. It’s simply a matter of throwing off the shackles and trying something different for a more artistic presentation.

There’s much more to learn on Kilbee’s instructional YouTube channel, so be sure to take a look.

We also encourage you to check out a tutorial we posted earlier on a related topic, explaining how to make long exposure photos with your phone using a hidden trick in Lightroom Mobile.