Camera Mode – Shutter Priority

Camera Modes

Shutter Priority is another partly manual mode that most digital cameras will allow you to use. Shutter Priority is usually indicated as an S or Tv on the camera and it allows you to set the shutter speed while the camera will control the aperture setting.

While aperture priority allows you to control the depth of field of your image, shutter priority allows you to control how motion of anything in the image is recorded. For example, for sports photograph, when you want to capture fast moving objects, using a fast shutter speed will help capture the action as sharply as possible. For landscape photography, on the other hand, you might want to use a longer shutter speed to create smooth looking water effects. Fading light can also require a longer shutter speed when you want to continue using the same aperture.

18 thoughts on “Camera Mode – Shutter Priority

  1. its great! i have learn a lot from these simple explanations that beginners like can comprehend easily! the topic about composition, aperture and shutter speed priority and its related topics are really great! i am very interested in flash photgraphy, low light and macro photography as well! i hope you can give some tips with regards to these topics in the future!

  2. Hi Robert, thanks for the kind comments, I’m glad you like what I do. I do hope to cover flash photography but I must admit it’s not one of my strongest areas, but it’ll give me the motivation to learn more won’t it.

    Macro is one subject I will be covering, it’s my favourite type of photography and was the the thing that got me interested in photography a few years ago.

  3. You don’t know how much i learnt from you !
    this is amazing.
    I bought my first bridge cam, 3 days ago.
    And am actually learning!
    I took about 50 photos of the water flowing in my tub, at diffrent exposure speeds, and i noticed the diffrence.
    I stil got some problems with the aperture, still learning.
    A small question; if my camera has a 30” of exposure time, can i take the picture of car moving at night, with a tail of light behind it?
    Excuse my english, and thanks in advance.

  4. Hi Hassane, glad the site is helping. Yes, with a 30 second exposure time you can make the nice night time shots with trails of red lights. You might not need to use 30 seconds though, it depends how fast the car is going. Only a second or two might be enough.

  5. Yes yes !
    It worked, i just came back and i tried it.
    I used 3 to 5 seconds cause i was really close to the scene.
    but i left the aperture to automatic, cause i didnt really know how to control that, any suggestions ?
    Thanks for answering Garry, i really appreciate that!

  6. The best thing to do here would be to set your camera on manual. Set the shutter speed to 3 or 5 seconds, and set the aperture to something in the mid range of what it can do. Make sure you focus on the right sort of area so your depth of field is ok. You will probably need to do a little experimentation here to get the exposure right, so keep the shutter the same, and just play with the aperture until you get it spot on. It’s digital so you can take loads of picture to experiment! It would be great to see these pictures too, are you a member of so you can upload them?

  7. Hello and thanks again Garry.
    Am gonna start experimenting this weekend, following your tips.
    I noticed something and i don’t know if it’s true: is the Macro some sort of aperture control ? cause when controling the aperature you control the focus on a subject (could be near or far), while the Macro does almost the same thing for close subjects.
    Am not a member, but ill open an account right now, and ill start uploading once i get some descent pictures…hehe.

  8. macro is usually a setting that allows you to focus on something very close, so I don’t think it’s an aperture control as such, as you can still set the aperture while in macro mode. i think it’s more of focus setting. I look forward to seeing your shots on flickr too. Great to see someone experimenting with their camera.

  9. This website is brilliant! Thank you so much =) I’m sixteen and a very experimental photographer at the moment, I’ve just got into a photography school and your hints and tips have really helped me to comply my portfolio and just generally learn, which is what I’m trying to do while this is still a (huge) hobbie.
    Thank you!

  10. Hi Jenny, glad it’s helping you. I’m always after suggestions for future ideas for posts, so let me know if there is anything you’d like me to explain.

  11. Hello sir, this is a great site, and just the right one for people like me who have graduated from compacts to bridge(mine is a olympus sp565uz… leave ur comments about this cam)

    Also, I would be glad if you could write something about the settings required to shoot fast moving subjects, like flying birds, fast moving vehicles, etc
    Someone mentioned about getting the trails of the red lights of cars during the night… is it done??

  12. Getting light trails is all to do with shutter speed. Using a longer shutter speed so the subject moves while the shutter is open allows you to record the trails of light. You need to support the camera though so it doesn’t move while the shutter is open. I’ll try and get some examples for you over the next few days.

  13. hello garry! this is the first time I have logged into this site and I think you are doing a fantastic job . I always dream of being a wildlife photographer , I am sixteen years old and I am very passionate towards photography and your articles are really going to help me in learning the basics . thanks

  14. Garry,
    just purchased the Canon G12, its a P&S with manual mode. Read a few of your posts and really like your stuff…
    thank you very much, i will start blogging soon about my learning experiences… because memories are forever

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