- Long Exposure Photography
- The New Complete Guide to Night and Low-light Digital Photography
- Master Photo Exposure
Long exposure photography is quite different from other genres or shooting modes. Things are a lot slower than normal and it's actually closer to the original photographic process.
A long exposure is anything ranging from the shutter speed that no longer allows you to shoot hand held to exposures that can last minutes, hours, even days. Actually, the longest exposure recorded in history was about three years.
As so, long exposure requires a slowing down of everything and can only be done with a completely stable camera. A strong tripod is usually enough to do the job, but we also recommend using a remote trigger or the camera's self timer for absolute stillness.
What is it about long exposures that makes them so interesting and what are the subjects that they are best suited to? Surprisingly, long exposures are great for moving subjects. The only difference is that unlike using a short shutter speed that freezes movement, a long exposure will create a smooth, silky look of that motion.
Take rivers and waterfalls for example. We all know those nature photographs where water looks like glass. All those were taken using exposures of a few seconds or even minutes.
Traffic also looks great when photographed with a long exposure and so do cityscapes.
One of the best uses of long exposure is night time photography. Photographing at night or in any place that has low light requires the shutter to stay open a lot longer. This is true for landscape photography, cityscapes, nature photography, architecture, interiors and other genres.
After you learn how to use your camera in Manual mode and get the hang of long exposure photography, it's time to think about using it creatively.
For that we've prepared a video made by B&H in which photographer Deborah Sandidge will take you through everything you need to know about using long exposures creatively. From subjects and composition tips to filters, white balance and editing software, everything is covered. It's a little longer but trust us, it's worth it.