How to Work with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

There are three fundamental settings in landscape photography: the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed (known as the Exposure Triangle). While all of these are equally important to understand in order to create technically correct images, there’s one that’s extra important when it comes to an image’s visual impact. Adjusting the shutter speed makes a big difference and is often what can make your image stand out from the crowd.

Choosing the ideal shutter speed is not an easy process though. There rarely is a single correct shutter speed but there certainly are scenarios that benefit from a specific one. In this article, we’ll look at a few different scenes and how the shutter speed affects each of them.

Working with Fast Shutter Speeds

The easiest shutter speed to work with is a fast one. Working with fast shutter speeds doesn’t require a tripod and you can easily photograph subjects that quickly pass by. This is also the most common choice for most beginning photographers as it doesn’t require much effort (and most auto functions choose a relatively fast shutter speed).

Below you have a typical example of when you need to use a fast shutter speed. In order to freeze the motion of the deer, I had to increase the shutter speed to 1/320th of a second. Had the deer been moving at a higher tempo I would have to increase the shutter speed even more to avoid any motion blur.

deer in a field - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

Photographing animals is not the only time where you should use a fast shutter speed though. In the image below, I used a shutter speed of 1/1600th.

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