Inspirations, photography

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

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45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

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.

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

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 !

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

45+ surreal Long Exposure Photography Inspirations

About the author / 

Mohamed Rias

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213 Comments

  1. Mikl Barton January 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm -  Reply

    fantastic

  2. Tina January 17, 2010 at 5:18 pm -  Reply

    Outstanding photos.. (Thumbs Up)

    • Mohamed Rias January 17, 2010 at 5:29 pm -  Reply

      Thanks Tina 🙂

  3. John Creed January 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm -  Reply

    Great pix! Thanks for sharing.

  4. DannyRyanEire January 17, 2010 at 9:09 pm -  Reply

    Incredible work,love it, 2 5 12 and 26 in particular but all really great

  5. Tilak January 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm -  Reply

    Foto’s are awesome…. interesting info too….

  6. rahmaut January 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm -  Reply

    awesome inspiration!

  7. Mark January 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm -  Reply

    Wonderful photos… will be back again and again…

  8. prabha January 18, 2010 at 3:57 am -  Reply

    cool pics

  9. GRILLirious January 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm -  Reply

    Great stuff, absolutely great! Well done.

  10. Gary January 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm -  Reply

    Great photos, but not to be nit-picky or anything, but the motorcycle picture is not a long exposure, on the contrary, it has an extremely fast shutter speed akin to sports photography.

    • Kevin Watters February 7, 2010 at 10:36 pm -  Reply

      I thought the same thing when I first looked at it. So I stared at it forever then realized that the man on motorcycle is still, spinning his rear tire and shooting sand backward. If you look at the sand you will see the smooth feel made from the long exposure. This is one of the more difficult long exposure pictures because the man on the bike has to be very still so that only sand is effected. A very creative idea.

      • xektop May 13, 2010 at 7:39 am -  Reply

        Ok. But look at the spikes of the rear wheel… they are also still. He most probably jumped and the photo was taken.

        • Skyah! June 10, 2010 at 3:57 am -  Reply

          Yeah gary and zektop are correct, it’s a really fast shutter speed.

  11. Daniel January 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm -  Reply

    Simply gorgeous

  12. Arlina January 18, 2010 at 10:19 pm -  Reply

    Exotic, inspiring, thanks for sharing.

  13. Eddie J January 19, 2010 at 2:19 am -  Reply

    Amazing pics, Great work, Inspiring, Wow!

  14. sam January 19, 2010 at 9:37 pm -  Reply

    Absolutely awesome

  15. Simon S January 20, 2010 at 3:12 am -  Reply

    Awesome photos, definitely inspiring!

  16. Export January 20, 2010 at 6:41 am -  Reply

    Excellent collection of pics.

  17. blueyes January 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm -  Reply

    absolutely beautiful and inspirational

  18. strido January 22, 2010 at 4:16 am -  Reply

    astonishing

  19. PITER January 22, 2010 at 7:40 am -  Reply

    great…..

  20. osama_kalaf1974 January 27, 2010 at 9:38 am -  Reply

    thank you for sharing your fantastic shot

  21. mcx January 29, 2010 at 8:21 am -  Reply

    Some really nice pics

    • Mohamed Rias January 31, 2010 at 4:18 am -  Reply

      thanks dude 🙂

  22. Shamrock January 29, 2010 at 10:13 am -  Reply

    The motorcyclist is an example of a very short exposure time since all the details, the sand and the spokes, are very sharp. It is more, on the contrary to a long exposure, a case of very good timing. A great picture, but not the long exposure you are looking for.

  23. a January 29, 2010 at 3:36 pm -  Reply

    Great!!! What kind of camera is good for this?

  24. George Sweeney January 30, 2010 at 8:50 pm -  Reply

    I have experimented a lot with time-lapse, also called long exposure photography.

    One idea – when I lived in Egypt, I went one night to
    photograph the Sphinx. I used a tripod.
    I opened the shutter, then I took a strong flashlight and swept it back and forth over the face of the Sphinx, to highlight the portions I selected. I did this several times, and got very amazing results. I have lost the photos, but I still remember this technique.
    Try it!! salaam aleikhum, George

  25. Adrian February 1, 2010 at 12:30 am -  Reply

    Hey man,

    I was trying to do this. But the light conditions must be really low isn’t it?? Cuz when I take like a photo of this when the sun is gone for 15 minutes…(it is light-darky) my photo gets just white…how did you do that, by example in case of the old house photo…Or the birds are photoshopped….or you didnt use a long shutter time..???

    • Haley July 2, 2010 at 10:56 am -  Reply

      To get photos like the above, to use a long exposure you have to have low lighting or close your aperture to smaller (bigger f-Stop number). When you leave the shutter open for a longer amount of time you let more light in, but you can counter that when you close the aperture. So with that being said in theory the old house and the birds could be very possible to take although the birds aren’t blurred which is a perfect watermark for long exposure photography.

  26. sanndy February 4, 2010 at 8:15 am -  Reply

    great job

  27. Crispin February 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm -  Reply

    Nice pictures.

    Incidentally self timers aren’t so necessary for longer shots (over 10 secs) because the shake of your hand setting off the camera covers such a short fraction of the exposure. It’s the shorter ones (1 sec) where it matters.

  28. Myra Davis February 6, 2010 at 4:48 am -  Reply

    Very nice pictures, thank you for sharing.

  29. Marco February 11, 2010 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    Wow, I;ve tried long exposure with my 7 megapixel sony before, But I suppose as photography is just a hobby for me, that to achieve the awesomeness of these I would need proper experience.

  30. stephen February 12, 2010 at 2:46 am -  Reply

    Beautiful photos…

  31. Petunia Greenbeans February 12, 2010 at 3:26 am -  Reply

    Amazing collection! Wow. A Must Tweet!

  32. Milenka April 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm -  Reply

    Nice Pictures!!

  33. art May 1, 2010 at 3:18 am -  Reply

    very interesting i love the way you play with light.
    you are using photoshop?

  34. Jordan Shugart May 1, 2010 at 8:05 am -  Reply

    These are not all long exposure. Nonetheless they are awesome photos.

  35. Kevin May 14, 2010 at 8:03 am -  Reply

    I have tried this and fail every time, any tips? tahnks

  36. Robert May 27, 2010 at 6:10 am -  Reply

    my eyes almost popped out when look at this awesome photos … I will do that myself someday …thanks for sharing , friend

  37. tefy May 27, 2010 at 6:21 pm -  Reply

    Beautiful.
    AMAZED! would love to see more

  38. Mark Wills June 10, 2010 at 9:58 am -  Reply

    Excellent photos, thanks for sharing.

  39. Chris Miller June 30, 2010 at 3:27 am -  Reply

    These are all amazing. I especially liked the dock, I love alternate perspectives in photography.

  40. Kevin July 13, 2010 at 2:43 pm -  Reply

    Absolutely incredible. Some of the most awe-inspiring photography I’ve seen in a long time. Would love to know what model of camera was used.

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