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Shutter Speed Chart for Photographers

4 min read

shutter speed chartWe’ve put together an easy to understand shutter speed chart that explains common situations in which you would choose a certain shutter speed.


Shutter Speed Chart Reference

For use in very low light conditions like night photography. With this setting the photographer controls how long the shutter stays open. Any movement within the frame or by the camera will show up as motion blur. A tripod must be used.

1 second to 1/15
For use in low light conditions, night photography, fireworks, etc. A tripod must be  used to prevent motion blur.

For use when implying motion by panning with a moving object as a photo is taken.
The subject appears sharp while the background becomes motion blur.
Also used in darker conditions and requires a tripod to prevent motion blur.

1/60th to 1/125th
Common shutter speeds for most existing light situations.
These shutters speeds combined with small apertures (f/8 to f/166) result in large depth of field.

Good for freezing human paced action like a person jogging.

Good for freezing faster moving objects such as a car or runner.

1/1000th and faster
Good for freezing objects that move faster than the eyes can see, such as a bird’s wings in flight or baseball pitch.

Expanding on the Shutter Speed Chart

Another great reference that expands on shutter speed is a book by Bryan Peterson Understanding Exposure – shutter speed chart. Take a look when you have a chance. It’s a must have for all photographers!

We’ve also written several articles on shutter speed including: How to Choose the Right Shutter Speed for Your Photography, Pro Tip: Minimum Shutter Speed When Shooting Handheld, etc. but thought it would also be beneficial for you to have a shutter speed chart that you can come back to as an easy reference.

For a complete understanding of shutter speed, check out our Mastering Shutter Speed Book on Amazon.

We hope you enjoyed this free shutter speed chart and use it as as a reference for your photography. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts below!


  1. Gayle White

    May 1, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Oh my goodness, this post has helped me tremendously! Thanks so much. I am just entering the world of Photography. My husband just gave to me as a gift, a Canon Rebel, and I am certainly having fun learning all about Digital Photography. I have had it about a month. My very first DSLR camera. I want to really learn everything about taking great photos. Thanks so much!

  2. […] the pun, on this concept.  While you’re there, be sure to sign up for Doug’s Free Newsletter!Shutter Speed Chart for Photographers – this is a great primer for folks interested in learning about appropriate shutter speeds […]

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  4. Michael

    May 6, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    This is a very clear and easy to understand chart. It is great how you got a lot of important information in a short article. And you managed to fit in the use of a tripod to prevent motion blur.

  5. Mike Kieffer

    July 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    This is a great resource. Thanks for posting this, it has helped me understand shutter speed better.

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