October 24, 2016

Everything You Need to Know About Shutter Speed and Shutter Angle

Know the basics about shutter speed? Then it's time to graduate to something more advanced.

Understanding the fundamentals of shutter speed and shutter angle (as well as how they differ) is integral for knowing how to operate your camera. But if you already get how different settings change the look of an image, like how higher shutter speeds decrease motion blur for example, then you might be looking to get a handle on some more complicated concepts. This video by Sareesh Sudhakaran of wolfcrow is an in-depth 16-minute advanced lesson on pretty much everything that has to do with shutter speed and shutter angle, including how to adjust them to get the "film look." Check it out below:

If after watching this video you feel like a lot of the information went over your head, don't worry. Yes, it's important to learn all you can about the tools you use to make films—that knowledge will help you the further you get in your career—but not knowing how a rotary shutter actually works is not going to keep you from making films.

However, Sudhakaran is exactly right when in his companion blog post he says, "To advance in cinematography, you must learn to experiment with different shutter speeds/shutter angles to achieve different effects." It's true. You can absolutely learn enough about your gear to get you by, but that limited understanding will only get you so far—and it won't assist you in being innovative in cinematography or even with your own work.      

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For 24fps Canon DSLR video shootters - with Magic Lantern you can get the shutter speed of 1/48 if you want to follow the 180 degree rule to the point.

October 25, 2016 at 5:17AM

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Joonas Nieminen
Cinematographer and editor
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