Camera Shutter Speed Settings

By: Muna wa Wanjiru

I think its only fair that I give you a small sampling, a taste as it were, of the different settings available to you on your camera. I've covered only the most basic ones but each camera might have different ways of representing these to you.

When you get deeper into photography you'll see that using a combination of certain apertures with certain shutter speeds will give you the same exposure. For instance a shutter speed of 1/250 sec with an aperture of f/4 will give you the same exposure as 1/500 sec at f/2.8, and 1/125 at f/5.6. Don't worry if that jargon just gave you a headache. If you don't understand it, a few times playing around with your camera will give you the general idea anyway.

These combination shutter speeds and aperture settings which gives you the same exposure are normally referred to as reciprocal exposure settings. And they don't have to stop there either. These reciprocal exposure settings can go further than the three examples that I gave you. For now though just check out the various shutter speeds and aperture settings which I've given you.

Just to clarify again, some cameras will have either more or less of these settings on them although the ones listed below are standard settings. One other thing before you proceed any further, and that's to tell you that when you change from one setting to the next, like going from aperture setting f/2.8 to f/4, in photographic jargon it's called changing one stop. The same for the shutter speeds.

So if you went from 1/250 sec to 1/500 sec, you would be changing a stop. These are also called full stops. So you would say that you went down or up a stop, or a full stop. However, there are also such things as half stops and these are the mid points between the full stops. A half stop between 1/250 sec and 1/500 sec would be 1/350 sec. And a half stop between f/2.8 and f/4 is f/3.5.

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