October 29, 2013

Long Exposure Photography

By In musings, Photo Manipulation
Totally in vogue now are long exposure shots. I can understand why some dislike them – far from reality, unnatural, not what is ‘seen’. And perhaps now rather a cliché. But I’m rather a fan. Such technical fun, requiring the use of filters (especially the Lee Big Stopper), to me raises a photo to ‘art’, whether in black and white or the more traditional landscape in full colour (usually a sunset).

On both of the workshops I’ve been on recently, one with Ocean Capture the other with Light and Land, the use of the technique was of prime focus. So I borrowed a Lee big stopper and created some ‘art’. The tree image here was taken during the Light and Land workshop. (Note the distinct separation of the bottom of the tree from the horizon). By chance the wind blew the clouds in just the right way to ‘rush’ towards the tree. It’s a 22 second exposure at f/22. Note also the movement in the leaves. I’ve included a ‘normal’ exposure (f/10 1/40 second) of the same tree, as a silhouette, for comparison.

The second photo is of Durdle Dor taken during the Ocean Capture workshop. A rather over-visited location for photographers; you can see a million and one interpretations of the scene online. But it was my first visit and I’m rather pleased with this long exposure photo. Exposure was 120 seconds at f/16.

The final image, also from the Ocean Capture weekend, I’ve kept in colour. A 60 second exposure at f/16 of some partially submerged blocks of concrete. Although to be honest both the focusing and the depth of field are both slightly off in this image. It wouldn’t look too bad in black and white, either.

A lot of fun taking these. Lots of apps out there to assist in calculating exposure times too. Can’t wait to take some more – shame the waiting list for the big stopper is so long!

Photo Gallery: Long Exposure Photography

Lee Big Stopper Video

Following Jeannes comment below I’ve added this video to explain the use of the big stopper… easier to show than to explain I think.

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1 Comment
  1. Jeanne @ Cooksister October 29, 2013

    Fascinating. One always tends to think of long exposure shots being taken at night, but of course if you take them by day then you have to use teensy weensy apertures to compensate for the masses of light that the shutter is letting in. Care to elaborate on the Lee Big Stopper (a name with comedy potential if every I heard one…)? Love these – all of them! I don’t mind the unreality – I find it less distressing than over-used HDR…


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