How long should your shutter speed be to freeze the action?

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When we talk about any kind of action or motion photography, the most important thing to consider is the shutter speed. Capturing an action or motion or movement entirely depends on what shutter speed you select to take pictures. You'll see a variation in results you get when you play around with your shutter speed. At times it gets real difficult to judge a subject and select a speed that'll help you to capture the movement. Many times, there is no time for any kind of trials, because action photography is all about timings. The time you loose in setting up your camera settings doesn't come back and same applies to the action as well.

If you too have gone through this situation, then following tips might just help you take a perfect motion / action shot next time.

Consider these guidelines for freezing action:


  • Use a shutter speed of 1/125 second for a person casually walking.
  • If your subject is running or jogging, 1/250 second will probably do the trick.
  • If you want to capture sparks - welding sparks, for example - use 1/10 of a second.
  • At the ocean, with surf breaking on the shore, 1/125 to 1/250 second will freeze most surf action in a pleasing way.

  • Most rain should be shot at 1/60 to 1/125 of a second.

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