Long exposure photography is one of the coolest ways of taking pictures. It requires a longer shutter speed, anywhere from 1/2 sec up to several minutes or even a hour.
The ability to take long exposures requires a user to use a tripod for optimum results (of course, some people prefer the hand shake look). The use of a tripod is essential because the inability for the human hand to stay still is truly remarkable. No matter how good you get, it will be very hard to hand hold a 1 second shutter release without very noticeable blur. As well as a tripod (or monopod in some cases could work), a photographer should make use of the timed shutter release. This will allow the user to set the shot up, and set a timer to release the shutter. Most cameras have the option of one or more timed shutter releases, for example my Canon 40D has a 2 second and 10 second wait. I usually use the 2 second release as this gives you just enough time to get your hands off the camera to not bump the shot. This is even more important on longer shutter times.
Having a longer shutter speed of a few seconds allows the camera to take in more light to the sensor (or film for the film buffs). This means that the camera can read more “data” from the scene and gather more detail in a low light condition, creating some truly remarkable results as you will see below.
As well as low light conditions, a slow shutter speed allows for creative uses of motion in photographs. Some very cool portraits can be taken using a slower shutter speed, for example someone riding by on a bike creates a blur of the background and the bike, but could create a detailed portrait of the rider’s face if you follow the action. The same goes for a moving car, a fast shutter will catch a car in the exact instance, it could look like it’s not even moving (even at 200 mph with a fast lense). But using a slower shutter and following the path of the car could create a remarkable sense of speed that is tough to mimic and master.
Enjoy the great examples below and get out their and experiment with your camera taking long exposures.
Reader suggested Long exposure Photographs
I would like to add some of the best long exposure photographs suggested by my readers here. So that this post will remain alive for a long time. Will update this post regularly !
March 9, 2012 at 10:09 am -
This is really superb work…..!
April 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm -
you dont really have to go to school to learn photography its all about a person being creative rather than being told what to do and what not to do.
I’ve been a fan of image number 3 for quite a while (3rd image from top), i love the clouds going around those 2 mountains in particular.
WOW!! This is an absolutely spectacular collection of photographs! It is certainly the best collection of long exposure images I’ve ever seen, but perhaps also the best collection of photos in general. This really makes me want to get an even more advanced digital SLR camera than my Nikon D5100!
February 3, 2012 at 3:58 pm -
^^Michael, you can do all of these on a nikon d5100, I have one and have done all of these shots with mine
February 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm -
Michael , the truth is you do not need a high tech camera to create AMAZING photographs as the ones you’ve seen. Great are comes from the mind, the camera does not do the work. YOU DO! you must see an amazing frame before you push the button. So by all means i’m SOO sure you can create wonderfull images with the camera you currently have.
Wish I could take any sharp image like these, even with tripod, very nice master pieces, keep it up.
This is absolutely stunning.
June 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm -
oh so beautiful loving the structure x0x0x0x0x0x
Congratulations on a mind-blowing site!
These photographs are spectacular in so many different ways!
This is astounding work.
Kudos to every photographer represented here.
And thank you for sharing it all.
Nice Photography i like it very much
very very nice
Great images, your tips were also very helpful. I will be trying process real soon. Thanks again for sharing
I really love photography for me it’s just not have to pass a DSLR camera that can also be via camera phone or a regular camera …. and it is important not to be perfect to have artistic value
Wow! I love these! I hope to get a good shot soon. Mine always seem to be too dark, fuzzy or have too much glare.
good good very good~~~
I have just bought a pentax 67 and am looking forward to doing this sort of work. Thanks for the tips and excelent shots.
wow. some amazing pic’s in this collection. i like the more urban one’s.
Is the “45+” in the title a subliminal advert for Phase One?
amazing!!!!!!! photographs ^_^
Fantastic and i’m loving all of it. need to first get remote…
Outstanding work. This is truly fascinated.
Whoah, I just had to comment because these photos are by far AMAZING!
great photos and great inspiration
An amazing photos selection, very inspiring.
Thank you for sharing : )
I love it
An amazing photos…..
I like the photos, But i dont understand how you can take some of these shots on a digital camera without noise.
Photos over 30 seconds on a low ISO such as 100 or 200 and noise reduction on still heat up the sensor and creates noise on the image.
Yes, on a film camera these images are relatively easy given recipriocity failure but nether-the-less they can be achieved quite simply. Digital is another matter.
like i said 30 seconds or so is ok but 5 minutes or more and the image is destroyed by noise. I know about stacking images but i would rather do the image once in camera.
Can someone advise what camera if any can handle very long exposures.
Currently using a Nikon D70S i am somewhat unhappy with this camera for various reasons, noise is just one of many issues.
Further to my previous post,
I am hoping someone can confirm that less pixels on the sensor are helpful in reducing noise as well as a larger or ideally a full sized sensor may help with noise reduction. I need advise from someone who shoots digital with very long exposures.
What digital SLR can handle long exposures without noise? Please help.
August 15, 2012 at 4:48 am -
I use a Canon 5d Mark II – full frame body and it has very little noise especially for long exposure photography. That along with good lenses is a good combination to get clean pictures. A lens hood and a ND filter also helps cut out extra glare in the shots. Some sample pictures here: http://rohangupte.com/photoblog/files/category-nightshots.php
Some of the colours in these photographs are just amazing to look at.
Great pics!! Wow…
Can someone tell me how to set a canon 40d longer then 30 seconds? Or can’t you?
Thanks for your help
wow these images are stellar!! i can’t wait to get home and get my SLR out of my bag and go to a bridge, river and take stunning local shots!! thanks so much for the inspiration!
How Long do you have to go to school for photogrphy?