March 17, 2017

This Helpful Infographic Will Help You Master Shutter Speed in No Time

All things shutter speed are broken down in this convenient chart.

Understanding shutter speed can be a little difficult, especially when you consider how it affects and is affected by the two other important exposure settings, ISO and aperture. Cranking one up means you have to crank another down, and when you crank that one down you'll have to balance it all by cranking the other one up. Getting proper exposure can get pretty confusing, especially in complicated shooting situations.

So, if you're a beginner (or just like cheat sheets), this resource will help you out big time as you educate yourself on shutter speed. Travel photographer Viktor Elizarov has put together a super handy infographic that charts the many aspects of shutter speed, including important concepts relating to the Exposure Triangle (ISO, shutter speed, and aperture), as well as what images look like at different settings. Check it out below:

Credit: PhotoTraces

While it's relatively straightforward and hardly a sign of mastery to properly expose an image, it takes great understanding of exposure concepts and tools to use exposure as an artistic tool. This is the area in Elizarov's chart that I think all of you more experienced filmmakers will find helpful, especially if exposing has become automatic for you. Perhaps now you'll be inspired to pause before you choose your exposure and make a intentional choice to, I don't know, add a little more motion blur as you pan your camera to capture your subject running by.

There are lots of creative possibilities with the Exposure Triangle. Hopefully this chart will give you enough information to try something new and creative.      

Your Comment


WTF. This chart does not consider aperture and ND filters. Additionally, it is too confusing. Too many values for shutter, no for "sun". It seems to me, that the one who created the chart is very new to photograpy.

It is much easier to understand and apply the principles and relations of
- shutter
- aperture
- ND filters
on the fly.

The higher the f-stops (blocking light),
the darker the image, but the more depth of field (sharpness from front to back).

The lower the f-stops (letting in more light),
the brighter the image, but the more shallow depth of field.

The higher the shutter (short exposure = less light),
the darker the image, but sharper.

The lower the shutter (long exposure = more light),
the brighter the image, but blurry.

Use ND filters and ISO to compensate too dark or too bright situations.

And for film there is a general rule:
Always use 180° shutter angle if you do not plan a specific effect.

I.e. for 24p use 1/48 seconds (or 1/50 which is the closest one),
for 25p use 1/50 s
for 50p use 1/100 s

The more frames,
the faster the shutter,
the less the light,
the more light you need to bring on set.

March 18, 2017 at 3:56AM, Edited March 18, 4:10AM

Steadicam Operator

And by the way:
Giving advices with an info ghraphic containing only 1/4 of the truth is not that "helpful" and not the way how to teach facts. This is BS.

March 18, 2017 at 8:53AM

Steadicam Operator

It's a shutter speed chart, not a proper exposure chart. An electronic shutter is upstream of the remaining two elements of the proper exposure triad. A slow shutter speed will result in blurry motion regardless of how properly exposed the image is.

March 20, 2017 at 2:14PM

Paul S

Dude, this is to help you achieve proper bluring effects for photography. Of course you'll have to also set your ISO and Aperture, but neither of those cause water to blur, or any of the other desired effects in the graphic. That's all based on your shutter, which after you set, you will then need to set everything else accordingly. Its super useful...

March 18, 2017 at 10:05AM

John Haas

Dude, this chart not complete and anyway it gives a lot of room for interpretation. What does a smaller sun mean, what a bigger? I think you get the point.

If you just want to know how to get sharp or blurry pictures you don't need a sheet like this.

Faster shutter = sharp,
slower shutter = blur.
You need to know the princples.

What if I want to shoot a bird with a blurry trail?
What if I want to shoot a night scene without blur?
The chart can't tell you.

March 18, 2017 at 2:38PM, Edited March 18, 2:38PM

Steadicam Operator

Well it's nice, saved this one :)

March 19, 2017 at 10:46AM

Travel Photographer

Cool. This is very useful for the beginners.

March 21, 2017 at 4:09AM

Sameir Ali
Director of Photography