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Chapter 3. Compose a Good Photo > F-Stop and Shutter Speed

F-Stop and Shutter Speed

Each shot you take will have differing amounts of light. So any camera needs to be adjusted, manually or automatically, for the amount of light, or else your photo will be too dark or light. As we discussed in Chapter 1, cameras use a combination of aperture (aka f-stop), the size of the hole that the light is coming through; and shutter speed, how long the hole is left open to adjust exposure. Most of the time, you can let the camera's electronics determine the exposure automatically and the picture will come out just fine. But sometimes you'll need to control the exposure manually.

Shutter speed can be used to freeze or blur motion. A high shutter speed, where the shutter is opened for a short amount of time, can freeze motion. This is handy for getting a sharp picture of, say, a batter swinging. A low shutter speed, where the shutter is open for a longer time, blurs motion.


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