General Question

whitecarnations's avatar

Photographers: Do you like slower shutter speed with a higher aperture number or the other way around?

Asked by whitecarnations (1635points) April 7th, 2012
9 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

Are there different effects if I choose one over the other? Can you cite different examples? Thanks!

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Rarebear's avatar

It totally depends on what you’re shooting and why. If you’re shooting sports, or wildlife, you’re going to want a fast lens with a short shutter speed. If you want landscape with a higher depth of field, you want a high aperture with a slower shutter speed. If you’re doing portraits, it doesn’t matter as much as the lighting.

gasman's avatar

I agree with @Rarebear that it depends. With portraits it’s good to have a large aperture (small number) for shallow depth of field so the background is blurred while the subject is in sharp focus. For moving subjects you want a fast (short duration) shutter speed unless you deliberately want motion blur. For landscapes a small aperture, ideally a pinhole, gives sharp focus at infinity.

Carly's avatar

I try to get a blurry background in the majority of my shots, so a larger aperture is what I typically go for, however, I don’t have very fast lenses, so I sometimes I have to slow my shutter speed down… and then my foreground is blurry, too. >.>

wallabies's avatar

@Rarebear nailed it.

echotech10's avatar

The answer to that question is it really depends on what you are photographing. I take a lot of pictures of aircraft while they are landing at a local airport. This type calls for fast shutter speeds because of the motion and low apertures. Same thing applies when I photograph sports. But, if I am doing more nature type photography, then I want the better depth-of-field, which calls for slower shutter speeds and higher apertures. There is really no one correct way to do it, and again, it really depends on what you are photographing. Hope this helped.

DrBill's avatar

it depends on what you are shooting, and weather or not it is moving, and if you want the movement as part of the picture.

I do some astrophotography where the shutter will be open for several hours, and action shots with very fast shutter.

Rarebear's avatar

@DrBill You do astrophotography? We need to talk. What kind of astrophotography do you do? By the way, my current avatar is of a solar prominence I took with eyepiece projection through a Coronado PST.

whitecarnations's avatar

RAREBEAR! Thanks. In class I was just so focused on knocking out the assignment I didn’t really get to experiment with it. Or I did whatever was on the paper like a robot. Thanks a bunch all!

DrBill's avatar


Be happy to talk to you, my latest obsession is the horse-head nebula

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