What is the Relationship Between Aperture and Shutter Speed_ (1)

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What is the Relationship Between Aperture and Shutter Speed?

In early training when a cinematographer or training photographer is first learning about the exposure triangle, different combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are explained in reference to their unique impact on exposure. You probably already know that aperture, shutter speed, and ISO come together to directly influence the amount of light, or darkness, (the exposure) that enters your camera to allow for an image to be created, but what is the relationship between aperture and shutter speed?


Aperture represents the part of the camera which directly controls the amount of light that enters through the small opening of the lens to make its way to the camera sensors. On your camera, aperture is typically controlled automatically, or manually by you, to control the f stop. 

A lower f stop represents a larger opening in your lens and a brighter image resulting from more light entering through the lens and reaching the sensor. A higher f stop represents a smaller hole that limits light entrance into the camera sensor.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is similar to our eyes and how they blink. It controls the duration of time that the lens is open allowing light to enter in so that it can reach the camera’s sensor. Thus, just like when we blink our eyes, if we blink fast, less light makes it in and if we blink very slowly, more light is allowed to enter the shutter. 

If it’s dark outside, and you’re capturing images during nighttime, the shutter speed is slower to allow as much natural light as possible. So what is the relationship between aperture and shutter speed? Let’s take a look further…

Relationship Between Aperture & Shutter Speed

Shutter speed and aperture are inversely proportional to one another. This means that both shutter speed and aperture must be balanced in order to your images to have ideal exposure. As you increase your aperture, shutter speed must also be increased, in order to balance out the overall capture of your scene.

Both aperture and shutter speed impact the darkness or visibility of your footage or photos. Understanding the aperture and shutter speed of your shot is important as this helps you to take control over the exposure and adjust settings to ensure good (or potentially perfect) exposure. 

While your camera, lenses, and various other components are likely to maintain the shutter speed even if you can’t seem to stay on top of it all, keep in mind that some lenses, such as Pirim lenses, have a fixed focal length. In these situations, the focal length represents the maximum aperture size for that particular camera. 

In situations where the shutter speed is too fast, consider lowering the aperture size so that you can decrease aperture to maximize your depth of field. Likewise, if shutter speed is slower than you would like, and you’re focused on answering the question, “What is the relationship between aperture and shutter speed?” consider the using a tripod to limit any shaking that may occur causing blurry results. You can also select “Shutter Priority” mode to improve your shallow focus without dramatically influencing your production.