Photography tips

4 Shutter Speed Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Shutter Speed Mistakes

Professional photography involves a lot of learning. You will learn to use the camera, learn to use the accessories, learn to master every situation and even learn how to post-process your photos. Nonetheless, it is a fun and very rewarding hubby and career. Shutter speed is one of the trickiest things in photography; it controls the primary elements of exposure as well as the appearance of motion in your photos.

Learning to use shutter speed correctly will improve your photography in more ways than you can imagine. Most newbie photographers don't give their shutter speed adequate attention thereby leading to some mistakes that end up ruining their images. The fact is that every little thing you do when you are taking a shot contributes to how your photograph will turn out.

In this article, you will learn of some shutter speed mistakes that you are guilty of and how you can easily correct them:

1. Overexposing Your Image when Using a Creative Blur

Creative blur are mostly used when trying to blur the movement of water and get that pleasant smooth, milky effect. In a normal lighting situation, you will need a shutter speed of 1/15 second to about 1 second to achieve this objective. But the problem here is that the risk of overexposure is excessively high when you are using such a slow shutter speed.

To ensure you get the best result, you will need to close down the aperture as far as you can and then use something in the region of f/11 range and above. Next, set your ISO as low as possible. These two changes will help you to curtail the overexposure problem. Another option is to use polarizer to reduce the amount of light that will enter your lens.

2. Having Too Much or Not Enough Movement When You are Blurring Action

If you have a fast moving object you want to shoot, using faster shutter speed in the range of 1/15 second to 1/250 second can help you achieve that. However, there are situations where the shutter speed is not fast enough leading to everything being blurry or the shutter speed is too fast that everything looks static without any visual indication that there are movement occurring in the scene.

Solving this problem involves using trial and error method. When your subject is blurry, switch to a faster shutter speed, increase it gradually. I will recommend taking a sample shot at each setting until you get a sharp shot. Alternatively, if everything looks too static, continue to slow down the shutter speed until you achieve the blur level you want.

3. Getting Partly Black Image Because you are using External Flashes

Using external flashes and speedlights can lead to your images being partly black. This happens when your shutter speed is too fast. Some modern camera such as Nikon D5500 has a "Flash Sync Speed" spec which states the fastest shutter speed you can use while making use of flash to avoid this problem.

This problem is as a result of the flash not being able to hit the entire sensor when you are using a very fast shutter speed. If you must make use of flash when you are using a fast shutter speed, make sure that you use the "high Sync Speed" feature which can be seen on most mid-tier and upper-tier DSLRs. If your camera doesn't have this feature, you will have to make use of a slower shutter speed.

4. Static Looking or Blurry Shots When Freezing Movement

This problem is similar to the problem we discussed in number 2 above. In some cases, when you want to freeze movement or capture your subject in mid-motion without blur, you can run into a problem that makes your subject looking stuck in the frame even when they are moving.

You can solve this problem by using a unique compositions and framing to give impression of movement in your shot. When your subject is approaching your direction, tilt your camera to the left or right so you can frame the shot in a more interesting way. On the other hand, when your subject is moving across your field of view from right to left, what you will do here is to frame the shot in such a way that they appear in the right half of the frame. This trick will make it possible for the subject to move into the frame and give the eye the impression of movement notwithstanding that the motion of the subject is frozen.


When you take time to learn about some common shutter speed mistakes you are making and learn how to correct them, you will see a great improvement in your photo. The mistakes discuss above are frustrating in most cases, but none of them is impossible to overcome, all it takes is determination and the desire to do better and you will see that your overall photography will improve as well.

FREE REPORT: 100 Photography Tips EVERY

By Entering Your Email Below You Get The FREE Report "100 Photography Tips!"...
Utilize These Tips to Take Beautiful Pictures You'll Be Proud Of Forever! Grab it while it's FREE

Photography Enthusiast Should Know!

We Hate Spam As Much As You Do! We will never share your private info