How to Work with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

Before we move on to slower shutter speeds, let’s look at a few more scenarios where a fast shutter speed is recommended:

  • When photographing handheld.
  • Photographing quickly moving subjects.
  • When aiming to freeze motion.
  • When photographing from a vehicle.

Working with Slow Shutter Speeds

In landscape photography, the difference between slow shutter speeds is much bigger than between fast shutter speeds. While you won’t see a huge difference between 1/320th of a second and 1/640th of a second (in most cases) you may see a big difference between 10 seconds and 60 seconds. Because of this, I’ll split this section in two parts: less than 30 seconds, and more than 30 seconds (Bulb Mode).

dark image with moving water - Working with Different Shutter Speeds for Landscape Photography

The definition of a long exposure is somewhat vague but in my Ultimate Guide to Long Exposure Photography eBook, I describe is at the shutter speed where you no longer can capture a sharp handheld image. Typically, this is in the range of 1/50th of a second, depending on your camera and focal length (a longer focal length requires a quicker shutter speed to capture a sharp handheld image than a wide-angle).

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