So much photography has to do with light, how you use the light, and how you set the exposure on your camera. Of course, in many situations, you will find yourself using a short exposure. That is because you need to freeze action without the subject becoming blurred. However, there are many times when long exposure photography is interesting, breathtaking, and dramatic. Many find themselves looking in awe at long exposure images and thinking that something so amazing is out of their capabilities. If you are one of those people, it is time to stop thinking you can't, and learn to think that you can because it is not as hard as it looks. With the right information, anyone can take a great long exposure photo, and with digital cameras your results are instant...imagine the days of film where a photographer didn't know what they had until the film was developed. Here is what you need to know so that you can start capturing those amazing images as well.
When Should You Use Long Exposures?
Sometimes, you want to capture motion with a clear image of the subject. For example, if you are taking a picture of your child at a tee ball game, you certainly want to be able to see your child’s face. However, there are times when you want to capture the very essence of movement. You may have seen ultra-long exposure images that captured the movement of stars through the night with dramatic trails of light, and that is a good example, but that is not the only time when long exposure digital photography can be used. Here are a few others:
The important thing to remember is to use your imagination. There are so many times, day and night, when long exposures can produce stunning images. To get ideas, take a look at the images captured by the Digital Photography School.
Equipment You Need
The key to long exposure digital photography is equipment. This is simply not the kind of photography that you can take by holding the camera in hand. Because the camera shutter will be open for a long time, you cannot hold the camera steady enough. Your images will be blurry. Just what equipment will you need? There are two categories you should consider: the must haves and the options.
A few items that are optional, but can be quite useful, include the following:
Tips and Hints
Long exposure photography takes a good deal of trial and error. Do not be frustrated when your first few images do not look how you wanted them to. It really does take time to learn how to capture those amazing images. A few tips to keep in mind include:
The main thing to remember about getting a killer long exposure is that almost anyone with the right equipment can do it, but just like anything else...it takes practice.