Understanding Exposure, Chapter 3: Shutter Speed

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| By Muddyboots
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A test to assess a reader's knowledge of shutter speed based on Bryan Peterson's book "Understanding Exposure".


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    How does shutter speed effect a photo?

    • A.

      Slow shutter speeds freeze motion and let more light in; fast shutter speeds blur motion and let less light in

    • B.

      Slow shutter speeds blur motion and let more light in; fast shutter speeds freeze motion and let less light in

    • C.

      Slow shutter speeds freeze motion and let less light in; fast shutter speeds blur motion and let more light in

    • D.

      Slow shutter speeds blur motion and let less light in; fast shutter speeds blur motion and let more light in

    Correct Answer
    B. Slow shutter speeds blur motion and let more light in; fast shutter speeds freeze motion and let less light in
    Explanation
    Slow shutter speeds blur motion and let more light in because when the shutter is open for a longer period of time, it captures more movement, resulting in motion blur. Additionally, the longer exposure time allows more light to enter the camera, resulting in a brighter image. On the other hand, fast shutter speeds freeze motion and let less light in because the shorter exposure time captures less movement, resulting in a sharper image with less blur. Furthermore, the shorter exposure time limits the amount of light that enters the camera, resulting in a darker image.

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  • 2. 

    When is shutter speed more important than aperture?

    • A.

      Never

    • B.

      When you want to show the motion of a moving subject or the camera

    • C.

      In low light, when you are not using a tripod

    • D.

      Shutter speed and aperture are independent, they don't effect one another.

    Correct Answer(s)
    B. When you want to show the motion of a moving subject or the camera
    C. In low light, when you are not using a tripod
    Explanation
    Shutter speed refers to the amount of time the camera's shutter remains open, determining how long the sensor is exposed to light. Aperture, on the other hand, controls the amount of light that enters the camera by adjusting the size of the lens opening. In certain situations, such as when capturing the motion of a moving subject or when shooting in low light without a tripod, having a faster shutter speed becomes more important than adjusting the aperture. This is because a faster shutter speed helps to freeze the motion and reduce the chances of blur, while a wider aperture may result in a loss of sharpness or depth of field.

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  • 3. 

    What is the "bulb" setting for?

    • A.

      It's only used when using flash

    • B.

      It's used when your lens doesn't have the aperture needed to match the shutter speed you desire.

    • C.

      It's for exposures over 30 seconds long, but requires a "bulb" cable.

    • D.

      It's a left-over from film days that's no longer really necessary with digital.

    Correct Answer
    C. It's for exposures over 30 seconds long, but requires a "bulb" cable.
    Explanation
    The "bulb" setting is used for exposures over 30 seconds long, but it requires a "bulb" cable. This means that when the camera is set to "bulb" mode, the shutter will remain open for as long as the shutter button is held down or until the cable release is released. This allows for long exposure times, such as capturing star trails or light painting, where the photographer wants to control the length of the exposure manually.

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  • 4. 

    What's an appropriate shutter speed to try when attempting a panned shot of a horse running, or a car?

    • A.

      1 second

    • B.

      1/60

    • C.

      1/320

    • D.

      1/1000

    Correct Answer
    B. 1/60
    Explanation
    A shutter speed of 1/60 is an appropriate choice for a panned shot of a horse running or a car. Panning involves tracking the subject's movement while taking the photo, resulting in a blurred background and a sharp subject. A shutter speed of 1/60 allows enough time for the background to blur, while still freezing the subject's motion to some extent. This creates a sense of speed and movement in the photo, capturing the dynamic action of the subject.

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  • 5. 

    What's an appropriate shutter speed to try when attempting to get a city shot at dusk with the headlights and taillights of the cars streaked as they pass on the highway?

    • A.

      15 seconds

    • B.

      1 second

    • C.

      1/60

    • D.

      1/500

    Correct Answer
    A. 15 seconds
    Explanation
    An appropriate shutter speed to try when attempting to get a city shot at dusk with streaked headlights and taillights of cars passing on the highway would be 15 seconds. This longer exposure time allows for capturing the movement of the cars, creating streaks of light. A shorter shutter speed like 1 second or 1/60 would not be long enough to achieve the desired effect, while 1/500 would be too fast and would freeze the motion of the cars, resulting in no streaks.

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  • 6. 

    What shutter speed would you try to freeze the motion of a race car zooming past or a seagull in flight in front of you?

    • A.

      1/60

    • B.

      1/125

    • C.

      1/250

    • D.

      1/1000

    Correct Answer
    D. 1/1000
    Explanation
    To freeze the motion of a fast-moving subject like a race car or a seagull in flight, a high shutter speed is required. The faster the subject is moving, the higher the shutter speed needs to be to capture it without any motion blur. Among the given options, 1/1000 is the highest shutter speed and would be the most effective in freezing the motion of the race car or seagull.

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  • 7. 

    Why didn't Bryan's attempt at getting a panned shot of a frisbee in the sky work out for him?

    • A.

      There was nothing in the background to show the pan's blur

    • B.

      It wasn't moving fast enough

    • C.

      It was both rotating and moving horizontaly

    • D.

      It was moving in an arc

    Correct Answer
    A. There was nothing in the background to show the pan's blur
    Explanation
    Bryan's attempt at getting a panned shot of a frisbee in the sky didn't work out because there was nothing in the background to show the pan's blur. In panning photography, the photographer follows the moving subject with the camera while using a slow shutter speed. This creates a blurred background that emphasizes the sense of motion. However, if there is nothing stationary in the background, such as buildings or trees, the blur effect will not be visible, resulting in an unsuccessful shot.

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  • 8. 

    What shutter speed would you use to blur the water in a waterfall?

    • A.

      10 seconds

    • B.

      1/6

    • C.

      1/60

    • D.

      1/125

    Correct Answer
    B. 1/6
    Explanation
    A shutter speed of 1/6 would be used to blur the water in a waterfall. This slower shutter speed allows the camera to capture the movement of the water over a longer period of time, resulting in a smooth and flowing effect. A faster shutter speed like 1/60 or 1/125 would freeze the motion of the water, while a longer shutter speed like 10 seconds would create an even more pronounced blur.

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  • 9. 

    You are trying to blur the motion of the water in a waterfall, you set your shutter speed and scroll through your apertures in search of one that'll give you "0" on your light meter.  But, when you hit f/22 you can't go any further and your light meter says "+1".  You take a photo with these settings and, as expected, it comes out too bright.  Why?

    • A.

      There's too much light

    • B.

      You need a faster lens

    • C.

      You need a lower ISO, if possible

    • D.

      You need a higher ISO, if possible

    Correct Answer(s)
    A. There's too much light
    C. You need a lower ISO, if possible
    Explanation
    When the light meter says "+1" at f/22 aperture, it means that the scene is overexposed. This occurs because f/22 is the smallest aperture setting, allowing the maximum amount of light to enter the camera. Since the shutter speed is already set to blur the motion of the water, the only way to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor is by decreasing the ISO. Lowering the ISO will make the sensor less sensitive to light, resulting in a darker image. Therefore, the correct answer is that there is too much light and a lower ISO is needed if possible.

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  • 10. 

    If you attached your camera to the head rest on the passenger seat in your car, facing forward and took photos with a relatively slow shutter speed while driving straight, what would you expect to get as a result?

    • A.

      A colorful blur of the dashboard of your car, the car in front of you, the street, and the trees, houses, and other cars around you.

    • B.

      A colorful blur of the car in front of you, the street, and the trees, houses, and other cars, but the dashboard of your car would be sharp.

    • C.

      A colorful blur of the street, trees, houses and other cars, but both your dashboard and the car in front of you would remain sharp.

    • D.

      Anything that's moving faster than you would be blurred.

    Correct Answer
    C. A colorful blur of the street, trees, houses and other cars, but both your dashboard and the car in front of you would remain sharp.
    Explanation
    When taking photos with a slow shutter speed while driving straight, the camera will capture the movement of everything outside the car, resulting in a colorful blur of the street, trees, houses, and other cars. However, since the camera is attached to the headrest on the passenger seat and facing forward, the dashboard of the car and the car in front of you will remain relatively still in the frame, resulting in them being sharp in the photo.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Feb 09, 2009
    Quiz Created by
    Muddyboots
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