If you take a photo with a 1/30 shutter speed, but the objects in the photo were not moving, will the picture appear blurry? Or will they appear clear?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If the camera is fixed and the scene is static the picture will not be blurry. If you're hand holding the camera it depends on the focal length and your skill. Also this does not change if the camera is using film or not. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hugo
    Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ In addition to what @Hugo says: using a tripod or some other support? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 21, 2014 at 23:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ It also depends on whether the lens is properly focused on the subject. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 0:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not if you've got a steady hand. How do you get a steady hand? Practice. \$\endgroup\$
    – user4894
    Commented Sep 25, 2014 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


If the camera and subject are not moving at all, then the photo will have no motion blur regardless of how slow the shutter is.

Obviously, these things are all relative. Even when you hold the camera very still it is still subject to enough movement to affect sharpness in long exposures.

Amount of camera movement scale:

  1. Heavy tripod, remote (or timed) shutter release, indoors
  2. Firm tripod, good weather
  3. Monopod or held against a firm object such as a pole.
  4. Flimsy tripod or firm tripod in windy weather
  5. Hand held, leaning shoulder against firm object like a building.
  6. Hand held, standing firmly, good stance
  7. Hand held, poor stance
  8. Hand held while walking or moving in vehicle

(Note: I have a feeling number 4 should be even lower - a flimsy tripod in the wind may be worse than hand-held leaning against a building).

With (1) motion blur is practically non-existent even at slow shutter speeds. With (8) even using a shutter speed of 1/1000s you're still likely to see some motion blur.

And, obviously, your subject needs to be similarly still (and, as TFuto pointed out in the comments, your light source).

  • \$\begingroup\$ to see what a firm support can accomplish see here a 21 month exposure: itchyi.squarespace.com/storage/michael-wesely-MoMa-01.jpg \$\endgroup\$
    – ths
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 9:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that pressing button will create a bit of movement. Setting timer (some film cameras have it) will help with that. But then, there is shock made by mirror movement. In theory shutter should open after enough time to make it irrelevant. But how relevant is it and how it depends on shutter speed is different for each camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 14:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note: light changes will still show hard shadows having some blur. \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Commented Sep 22, 2014 at 14:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.