Now that we’ve gotten ISO and aperture taken care of, the easiest control to explain is shutter speed. This is simply the amount of time that the shutter is open. The shutter is a mechanism that allows light to hit your film or sensor in a digital camera. Think of it like blinds on a window that you can tilt to open and shut.

The typical shutter speed scale is: 1 sec, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000.

When you adjust the shutter speed you are adjusting the fraction of a second the light passes through. When it reads 250, it’s actually 1/250 of a second. That’s a good starting point if you’re photographing a moving subject and you want to stop them in place. The faster and object is moving the higher shutter speed you need to stop it in place.

The slower your setting the more blur in your picture. You use these settings for low light situations as well as artistic situations where you may want to show motion.