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Your shutter speed is the most flexible exposure control because there are loads of them to choose from. For the most part shutter speeds are chosen to get the correct exposure for whatever aperture you set on your camera.
I set an aperture first for creative reasons. The aperture is the main control for depth of field - that's how you make blurry backgrounds etc.
Shutter speed can also be used to create two key effects - freezing and blurring movement. Photos like cotton candy waterfalls, frozen waves and this pic of the bike are all controlled with the shutter. But before you get carried away, it's important that you understand the basics so that you can use your shutter speed as effectively as possible.
We'll talk you through exactly what the shutter is, what it does and how it can be used to capture motion or to create a blur effect in your images.