It does not matter whether you are a professional photographer or just getting started, shutter speed is actually a very useful feature of cameras that you should know how to use effectively. Shutter speed is one of the many features in a camera that allow you to change how an image will look once you take the picture. If you were wondering what shutter speed is exactly, let me explain.
Shutter speed is the length of time that your camera sensor is exposed to light. Basically, the shutter stays open longer and lets in more light, therefore the speed is slower. Whenever you set the shutter speed to be faster, it will not let in as much light. There are many different uses for this, and so it is definitely worth your time to experiment with shutter speed while taking photos of moving objects, such as cars passing by. Once you understand how the shutter speed can affect the images that you take, you can take some pretty amazing shots just by changing one little setting.
Of course, you will need to know what to change on the other settings for the photo to look like you really want it to, so be sure to test different settings while you are messing with the shutter speed. Here are some common things you can use shutter speed to do with your camera.
One of the things I use shutter speed for the most is taking frozen action shots. These are the kinds of photos you see of people kicking a soccer ball or catching a football. While some will be blurred, the ones I am talking about are ones where it looks like you stopped all motion and captured a single frame of the catch or kick. This is important if you want to take some pictures of moving objects without so much motion blur. The faster the shutter speed is, the less light you let in through the shutter and effectively reduce the blur of the image.
I am going to talk about taking pictures of cars again. Panning is the technique you will want to use for these kinds of shots if you are focusing on one car or some in the same vicinity. One thing to remember with these kinds of photos is that the motion needs to be happening to the across the camera, not directly towards it. Otherwise, the focus cannot be on the objects movement across the lens, but rather the object getting bigger and bigger as it comes closer and closer. You will need to pre-focus your camera at the place where you want to capture the object in the picture, otherwise the focus may go back to the background and the shot will not come out like you wanted it to. Another thing you can do is to follow the motion of the car in front of you with a high-speed burst mode to capture multiple frames of the movement, ensuring that perhaps just one of the photos will come out just like you wanted it to.