Can you change the shutter speed in post-processing?

Shutter speed cannot be changed in post as it has to be chosen during the shoot. However, there are some things you can do to reduce the effect of motion blur if you chose the wrong shutter speed while taking the shot.

In this article, I have mentioned a few easy steps to fix motion blur in Photoshop using various techniques and what would happen if you chose a faster or slower shutter speed.

How to fix motion blur in post?

It is hard to fix motion blur in post. You cannot eliminate it, but there is something you can do. Using the advanced techniques in Photoshop, there is a chance you could fix motion blur in post.

There are three things that you should know while editing in Photoshop:

  • First, you are fixing motion blur, either caused by the shaking of the hand or if your object suddenly moved, not the motion caused by focus missed.
  • Second, you should know the angle of motion. For example, 45 degrees.
  • The third is the distance of the motion. For example, if your motion is blurred by 10 pixels, which is how you measure the distance in a digital image.

Before you dive into the editing part of it, you might be interested to know that Photoshop has another tool called the “Shake Reduction”, mainly for fixing motion blurs. You can use that tool through the “filter” option on the top bar.

However, what you should know about this tool is that it takes a lot of time, it is complex and the results are not always suitable.

motion blur

Step 1

To determine the angle of the motion, all you need to do is click and hold on to the eyedropper tool – there is an option for “ruler tool” in there. You select the ruler tool and click and drag a line on the image along the direction of the motion.

After you are satisfied with the line you have dragged, look at the top bar in Photoshop – you will see the letter “A”, which means angle and the degree next to it. This is the angle of motion.

Step 2

The next step is to figure out the distance of motion. Using the same tool – “the ruler tool”, draw a line where you think the camera shook or maybe the shutter speed was not enough.

After you do that, look at the top bar, you will see an icon named “L1”, and the distance of movement in the form of pixels

Step 3

Step number three is to sharpen the image. Before you start, make sure you have made a copy of your image. To make editing easier, go to the filter option at the top bar and click “Convert for Smart Filters” and hit “ok”. Now your image is a smart object.

After you have turned your image into a smart object, go to the “Filter” option again, go down to the option of “Sharpen” and choose “Smart Sharpen”. When you click on “Smart Sharpen”, a preview page will open on your screen.

In the preview window, you will see various options and one of the options will be “Remove”. In this option, choose “Motion Blur”. Next, add the “Angle of the Motion”.

In the option of “Radius”, add the “Distance of the Motion”. There is another option called “Amount”, always keep that at 500%. You can choose to “Reduce Noise” up to 10% or adjust that later. You can change the “Radius” or the “Pixels” as per your needs.

These are the steps you could follow to fix motion blur in your image. If you want to fix it further, there are some more advanced techniques shown in the video below:

What happens if the shutter speed is too high?

Shutter speed is responsible for two things – changing the brightness of your photo and creating dramatic effects by either freezing your action or blurring motion. When you use a fast shutter speed or when your shutter speed is too high, it will freeze motion. You can even eliminate motion even from fast-moving objects like birds in flight or cars.

For example, if you take a picture of any water body, you will be able to see each droplet of water hanging in the air, which is not something visible to our naked eyes. While photographing birds in flight you will need 1/1000th second or faster. For slower moving objects, 1/100th second or 1/200th is more than enough to capture the image without introducing motion blur.

More: Is 1/8000 shutter speed necessary?

What happens if the shutter speed is too low?

When you use a long shutter speed which means a low shutter speed, you end up exposing your camera sensor for a significant amount of time. This creates motion blur. The long shutter speed ensures that the moving objects in your scene appear to blur along the side of the motion. The longest shutter speed on most the DSLRs and mirrorless cameras is 30 seconds.

This effect is often used by sports photographers, wildlife photographers, landscape photographers to blur the motion of waterfalls or rivers and photographers taking pictures at night. The best thing about motion blur is that it blurs only the motion, the rest of the image comes out looking completely sharp.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the slower the shutter speed, the more motion blur you can capture and with faster shutter speeds, you can freeze motion. Choosing a suitable shutter speed while shooting can save you from editing and fixing motion blurs.

Shabbir
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