Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography involves using a long duration shutter speed to capture an image. This technique of photography is used in many scenarios. For example, if lighting in an area is dark, one can simply increase the duration of their shutter speed so they can achieve a proper exposure. Another example of a scenario in which long exposure photography can be used is when one wishes to have a stationary subject in focus and have the surrounding area, (if it involves motion), blurred. We will now look at more in depth examples of the scenarios explained above.

Most photographers prefer capturing an image by using a long shutter speed rather than using a flash. This is because a flash can create unwanted reflections and uneven lighting if done incorrectly.  The image below was taken using a shutter speed of 2 seconds in Antelope Slot Canyon, AZ.

When examining the photo one can notice the lighting is, for the most part, even throughout the photo.

inside canyon

Next we will examine an photo that involves a stationary subject and blurred surroundings.

Calm river

In this photo one can see that the log in the background and the rocks in the foreground are stationary and in focus, while the rushing water in the stream is blurred. One may also notice the lighting is even. This was taken using a 2 second shutter speed in Zion National Park.

If one wishes to take long exposure photos it is recommend to purchase a tripod. This is due to the fact that one will move while holding their camera. This motion may not be visible when taking photos at high shutter speeds, but will be visible for long exposure photos.

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