Beginning Wildlife Photography: Shutter Speed

Northern Cardinal

Beautiful Northern Cardinal

Shutter Speed

We will start discussing the basics of wildlife photography starting with a simple explanation of the three camera functions you will need to understand.  They are shutter speed, aperture and ISO.  

Most cameras come with both automatic, partial automatic and fully manual.  We'd like to get to the point where you will photograph manually (you will have the greatest control over the camera) but for now lets start by explaining the three functions.  

We will start with shutter speed.   

Shutter speed is how we control the amount of light hitting the sensor by selecting the speed the shutter opens and closes.  The longer the shutter speed, the more light is let in.  For example:  Taking a photo of a person outside on a sunny day will take a shutter speed of at least 1/60th of a second if we don't want any blur.  On a sunny day this is very easy but it may be way too bright.  So, what do you do?  In this case you will jump the shutter speed up to may 1/500th of a second.  So why do you do it?  Take a look at this site for an explanation.  

Shutter speed explanation