The shutter speed has great potential for creative effects!
On this bleak winter day in Northumberland, England, I wanted to add something extra to a shot of Alnwick Castle, so I decided to slow things down by using a 3-stop (0.9) neutral density filter to drop the shutter speed to a full 1-second. This not only allowed the DSLR camera to record the reeds with plenty of blur as the wind blew them, but also gave a soft, flowing appearance to the fast-running river water.
The trick of this technique is to balance the shutter speed so the moving element(s) in the scene show blurring but are still discernible.
For this image, I used a 24mm lens and a Nikon D3x digital SLR camera.
Notes from the Instructor Insights editor: Learn more from Simon Stafford, who teaches an excellent online photo workshop on photographic design. Also check out BetterPhotoBetter's digital photography school classes on working with digital camera exposure and natural light.