You’re probably wondering: what’s a good shutter speed? Choosing the right camera shutter speed for your image depends on two things: what you’re photographing and what you want your finished image to look like.
Let’s look at sports photography, where your goal is to freeze fast-paced action so you can capture a specific moment of time in a clear, sharp way. To do this successfully, you’ll need a fast shutter speed of around 1/500 second.
In contrast, with waterfall photography, you’ll want to experiment with blur to highlight the movement of the water. Using a slow shutter speed of 1/8 second or 1/2 second will help you to achieve that dreamy, misty effect of cascading water. And don’t worry, a slow shutter speed only blurs movement, so the other objects in your image (like rocks or trees) will remain sharp. Just remember to use a tripod if you’re using slow shutter speeds, otherwise you could end up with unintentionally blurry, jarring images.