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Long Exposure Photography - hosted by Elliot Hook
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ForumHost

49 posts
     
  [1 of 20]  Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 12:39 (1425 days ago)
Modified: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 12:48 (1425 days ago)
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Who am I?
I am an aspiring amateur photographer based in Hertfordshire in the UK. My love of photography is heavily linked to my love of the outdoors, meaning that I like to try to capture the natural world – both landscapes and wildlife. I find no end of inspiration in the British countryside and dedicate as much of my time outside of my day job to walking through it, photographing it and trying to capture what inspires me so much.
I’m an active member of my local camera club and have given a couple of lectures on the subject of long exposure photography as well as a regular contributor to Digital Photography School. I will be around on the forum for the next few weeks, so please if you have any questions or would like any advice or feedback, please get in touch. I can also be found via my website: http://www.elliothook.co.uk/, Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/elliothook/ or Twitter: http://twitter.com/smelliot_hook.

My thoughts on long exposure photography
Relatively speaking, 1 second is a long time in the context of photography. Compared to sports/action/wildlife photographers who are often shooting at 1/1000ths of a second in order to freeze the action, 1 second gives us a lot of time to play with.

Shutter speed is one of the more creative parameters we can control when out shooting. I think most people’s first encounter with a ‘long’ shutter speed is when shooting waterfalls trying to achieve that milky water effect, which often doesn’t even require as long as 1 second. However, once you realise the potential of longer shutter speeds to capture movement and motion, you start to see possibilities everywhere, whether it is fast moving clouds, swaying grasses, light trails from traffic, waves crashing over rocks – all things that can transform a normal ‘static’ image into something far more exciting, if recorded with some movement.

Shooting long shutter speeds is quite simple. By using shutter priority mode (Tv or S), and setting the camera's shutter speed to 1s, the camera will automatically adjust the aperture to try to obtain the set shutter speed. If you want to maintain more control over your aperture (to control your depth of field, or to avoid diffraction from really small apertures), you will have to use filters.

A polarising filter, whilst great for removing reflections from water or foliage, can often offer between 1-2 stops of light reduction, therefore extending your shutter speed by 2-4x (for the same aperture/ISO). Neutral density filters are probably the most common way of extending your shutter speed and are available in anything from 1 stop (0.3ND, ND2) to 10 stops (3.0 ND, ND1024). Using neutral density filters, it is possible to achieve shutter speeds in the region of a few seconds very easily, and even in to the realm of minutes if you so desire.

All of this will require a sturdy tripod, to make sure that the camera is held steady whilst the shutter is open, without which, it will be very difficult to avoid camera shake and obtain a sharp image. Though more and more you now see images where photographers have deliberately moved the camera during a long exposure (Intentional Camera Movement) in order to introduce motion to an otherwise static scene.

Below, I’ve included a number of images that range from fractions of a second to whole minutes to show just a few of the possibilities that are open to us when shooting long exposures. I’m sure there are far more applications that I’ve considered, so it will be great to see the entries from this Panachallenge to see what you can come up with. I shall await your posts of questions and/or comments!
Thanks - Elliot Hook


Images

Image 1 – 1s, f/18, ISO250
This shot needed a 3 stop (0.9ND, ND6) neutral density filter to increase the exposure time to 1 second.
http://panachallenge.com/forum/images/LongExposureForum/Image 1.jpg


Image 2 – 0.4s, f/13, ISO100
Not quite 1 second here, but a long enough exposure to record the movement in the retreating water on the beach, as well as some movement in the crashing wave. A 3 stop (0.9ND, ND6) neutral density filter was again used here to extend the shutter speed whilst shooting towards a bright skyline in the mid-afternoon.
http://panachallenge.com/forum/images/LongExposureForum/Image 2.jpg


Image 3 – 1/20s, f/14, ISO100
Again, shorter than 1 second, however long enough to capture the vertical panning motion of the camera to accentuate the vertical lines of the trees in a snowy woodland.
http://panachallenge.com/forum/images/LongExposureForum/Image 3.jpg


Image 4 – 6s, f/11, ISO100
This time an exposure time of 6 seconds was used to soften the crashing waves over these rocks. Here, I wasn’t looking for 6 seconds specifically, but used neutral density filtration to obtain a long enough shutter speed to give the desired effect. I’m sure anywhere in the region of 3-10 seconds would have given a similar effect here.
http://panachallenge.com/forum/images/LongExposureForum/Image 4.jpg


Image 5 – 78s, f/8.0, ISO200
Here, we’re getting into long, long exposure photography with a shutter speed >1 minute. A 10 stop (3.0ND, ND1024) filter was used here, in the bright morning sunshine, to obtain a long shutter speed to capture the motion in the grasses on the sand dune, and in the clouds in the sky. (Photography at these shutter speeds requires a pretty structured workflow when out in the field, and a few additional considerations that are maybe out of the scope of the current Panachallenge theme, but I would be more than happy to discuss them if interested).
http://panachallenge.com/forum/images/LongExposureForum/Image 5.jpg


Image 6 – 227s, f/10, ISO100, Image 7 – 299s, f/10, ISO100
Two very different images, at two very similar shutter speeds. These were taken using a 10 stop filter again, reaching shutter speeds of approx. 4 or 5 minutes – further stretching the idea of long exposure photography but hopefully showing that whilst you can create those typical B&W streaky cloud/milk water images, you can also create bright, colourful images with the added twist of a long exposure to ad something a little different.
http://panachallenge.com/forum/images/LongExposureForum/Image 6.jpg

http://panachallenge.com/forum/images/LongExposureForum/Image 7.jpg


forkcandles

599 posts
     
  [2 of 20]  Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 13:40 (1425 days ago) Topic is locked

thank goodness you didn't include a milky water shot which probably the first type of long exposure most photographers start with.
one of my followers on flickr posted this one
taken in a busy street with a nd filter
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7418/10581399305_69d8b8f020_z.jpg
After Titarenko by gothick_matt, on Flickr

I have posted it here to show that you don't have to be on the coast or country side for a long exposure


ForumHost

49 posts
     
  [3 of 20]  Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 13:55 (1425 days ago)
Modified: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 13:55 (1425 days ago)
Topic is locked

Hi forkcandles, I realised soon after supplying the images that the majority were water based, however landscapes are more my forte compared to, say, street or still-life. But yes, long exposures certainly aren't limited to landscape photography!

Elliot



Jade O.

1046 posts
     
  [4 of 20]  Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 14:09 (1425 days ago)
Modified: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 14:11 (1425 days ago)
Topic is locked

Elliot,

Welcome and thanks for joining us.

Your images show that "amateur" can still mean fine images.

For a sample of just how diverse the subject matter of 1 second shots can be here are a couple of links:

http://www.dpchallenge.com/challenge_results.php?CHALLENGE_ID=1009&page=1

http://gizmodo.com/5806037/shooting-challenge-1-second-gallery/


Mepo

1611 posts
     
  [5 of 20]  Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 19:44 (1425 days ago) Topic is locked

Hi Elliot: Welcome to the site. Nice selection of examples which I'm sure will give some of us some inspiration. Look forward to your comments.

fc: Good alternative shot. I've always liked ghosts in photos since I was a young-un.

Jade: Thanks for the links. My brain's in overdrive already. No idea what I will shoot yet.


KJW

44 posts
     
  [6 of 20]  Posted: Thu Oct 31, 2013, 21:52 (1425 days ago) Topic is locked

Beautiful examples of long exposure & thanks for the tutorial. These will help with ideas for this challenge.

forkcandles

599 posts
     
  [7 of 20]  Posted: Fri Nov 1, 2013, 05:41 (1425 days ago) Topic is locked

 Jade O. wrote:


Your images show that "amateur" can still mean fine images.


I do hate the title Amateur attached so easily to photography. the term Professional means that you earn 2/3 of your income doing it.
just don't mention pro am

now to voting ...........


mrsawyer

1329 posts
     
  [8 of 20]  Posted: Fri Nov 1, 2013, 11:59 (1424 days ago) Topic is locked

Thanks for the info and examples, Elliot! The photos are striking. The one with the snowy trees would have fit well in our "Abstract Photography" challenge we had a few months ago. (panachallenge.com/challenge/index.php?challenge=151)

A mild debate arose prior to choosing the challenge theme as to whether to disallow the use of flash. Do you ever use flash in conjunction with a 1 second (or so) exposure? Do you know of any instances where flash could be used successfully/creatively with such an exposure length?





forkcandles

599 posts
     
  [9 of 20]  Posted: Fri Nov 1, 2013, 14:13 (1424 days ago) Topic is locked

 forkcandles wrote:
thank goodness you didn't include a milky water shot which probably the first type of long exposure most photographers start with.
one of my followers on flickr posted this one
taken in a busy street with a nd filter
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7418/10581399305_69d8b8f020_z.jpg
After Titarenko by gothick_matt, on Flickr

I have posted it here to show that you don't have to be on the coast or country side for a long exposure


this is a link to the artist Titarenko who inspired Matt
http://www.alexeytitarenko.com/portfolio.html

food for thought



ForumHost

49 posts
     
  [10 of 20]  Posted: Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:13 (1423 days ago)
Modified by Admin: Fri Nov 29, 2013, 09:53 (1396 days ago)
Topic is locked

 mrsawyer wrote:
Thanks for the info and examples, Elliot! The photos are striking. The one with the snowy trees would have fit well in our "Abstract Photography" challenge we had a few months ago. (panachallenge.com/challenge/index.php?challenge=151)

A mild debate arose prior to choosing the challenge theme as to whether to disallow the use of flash. Do you ever use flash in conjunction with a 1 second (or so) exposure? Do you know of any instances where flash could be used successfully/creatively with such an exposure length?


I don't use flash in conjunciton with long exposures, however I have seen it used very effectively in such circumstances - typically rear curtain sync. The flash freezes the action at the end of the frame, giving motion blur up to when the flash went off. Some examples can be seen here: http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/rearcurtainsync/Interesting

What was the outcome of the debate, is flash allowed?

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