Shutter Speed, ISO And Aperture Factors

Shutter Speed, ISO And Aperture Factors

In last blog we have covered the basics of photography of choosing the correct location site, timing area to cover in a photo. In this blog we will discuss “X” factor of any photo.

Relationship between Shutter speed, ISO and Aperture

Relationship between Shutter speed, ISO and Aperture

Relationship between Shutter speed, ISO and Aperture


A camera’s shutter determines when the camera sensor will be open or closed to incoming light from the camera lens. The shutter speed specifically refers to how long this light is permitted to enter the camera. “Shutter speed” and “exposure time” refer to the same concept, where a faster shutter speed means a shorter exposure time.

By the Numbers. Shutter speed’s influence on exposure is perhaps the simplest of the three camera settings: it correlates exactly 1:1 with the amount of light entering the camera. For example, when the exposure time doubles the amount of light entering the camera doubles. It’s also the setting that has the widest range of possibilities:

Shutter Speed

Typical Examples

1 – 30+ seconds Specialty night and low-light photos on a tripod
2 – 1/2 second To add a silky look to flowing water. Landscape photos on a tripod for enhanced depth of field
1/2 to 1/30 second To add motion blur to the background of a moving subject. Carefully taken hand-held photos with stabilization
1/50 – 1/100 second Typical hand-held photos without substantial zoom
1/250 – 1/500 second To freeze everyday sports/action subject movement. Hand-held photos with substantial zoom (telephoto lens)
1/1000 – 1/4000 second To freeze extremely fast, up-close subject motion
ISO 100, 18mm, f/22, 5.0 sec

ISO 100, 18mm, f/22, 5.0 sec

ISO 100, 18mm, f/22, 1/500 sec

ISO 100, 18mm, f/22, 1/500 sec


ISO (International Organization Of Standardization)

On any modern DSLR there is a setting either on the hard body or on the LED display that says “ISO”. Under the ISO or to the side are numbers that range from 100 all the way up to 64000 (on higher end professional models). The ISO setting is the digital equivalent of using different film speeds in old 35mm cameras. Film speed, or ISO, is used to help achieve the proper light balance upon taking the shot. A great beginner tip for using ISO is the brighter the light the lower the ISO should be. For example, if you are shooting an indoor birthday party under low light, the ISO should be set at 400-600 (your mileage may vary). If shooting under intense sunlight the ISO is generally dropped to 100 (or even 50).


ISO 160, 18mm, f/4.0, 1/30 sec

ISO 160, 18mm, f/4.0, 1/30 sec


Here’s an example of a quick shot using a lower ISO because I wasn’t on a tripod in this bright light. This is ISO 160 at f4.

Very often during sunrise photography I leave the ISO at a flat 100 because I’m using a tripod. I generally try to keep it set to 100 in most situations. The higher the ISO the more noise you’ll get on your photos. If you want a nice beginner e-book on improving your photos check out Trey Ratcliff’s ’10 Principal’s of Beautiful Photography’.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
Ansel Adams


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