What shutter speed for street photography?

Are you wondering what shutter speed for street photography? Shutter speed affects not only Aperture and ISO it also affects if the image will be sharp of blurry. So let's dig in for an answer.

What shutter speed for street photography?

The shutter speed for street photography is any shutter speed above 1/125th. That's the short answer, but this does not take into account what light situation you are in and what you want to do. 1/125th of a second is great for most situations, but there needs to be enough light.

A quick primer on shutter speed

Shutter speed refers to how fast the camera opens and closes the blinds in order to take the shot.

Shutter speed explanation in street photography

When the shutter speed is fast it freezes the action, but then the shutter speed is slow, you will start seeing blur and movement in your images. If your images are blurry it's because your shutter speed is too slow.

Street photograph showing a woman being sharp and another woman being blurry
There was not a lot of light, the shutter speed was slower, allowing the woman behind to blur

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A more sober answer

So while above 1/125th is a good rule of thumb, if the light starts dropping fast and you've maxed out your ISO, then you must go slower. If you also want to show movement you'll have to go below 1/125th. The reason why 1/125th is the default shutter speed for street photography is because things happen fast in the streets and you are probably walking when you want to take the shot, and with trial and error 1/125th is the slowest one can go and still have a sharp shot.

What shutter speed for street photography? Conclusion

There you have it. The default shutter speed for street photography is anything above 1/125th of a second. But that is if you want your images sharp and if there is enough light. If you are reading this, you are interested in street photography, right? Here's something to consider: While the technical is important, it is also PLASTIC. There is no correct shutter speed for street photography 100% of the time, it just depends on the situation and what you want to do.

The good news is, there are way more important aspects of the craft, like composition and the emotional aspect. If you want a step-by-step street photography course that shows you the ropes, click here.

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