PHOTOS: The Art of Long Exposures




Long-Exposure: Also known as time-exposure or slow-shutter photography is a form of photography using a longer shutter speed that creates an interesting light effect of a stationary landscape and a moving object. For example, the photo above was taken at Thundering Brooks Falls in Vermont. The landscape of the waterfall is stationary, while the moving water that is trickling down the rocks, looks smooth, even though in real-time moves much quicker.


In order to achieve this, you will need a tripod for the best results. Shoot in manual and use the camera's self-timer, or purchase a cable release to avoid moving the camera. Set the shutter speed to at least five seconds, but the best results come in around the 30-second ballpark. The longer the exposure, the greater effect you will get. Water will appear smoother, light trails will be longer, etc. If you are shooting in the daytime, you will need a dark filter lens to help dim the natural light. Long exposures are best at dusk.


From vehicle lights that draw bright streaks following their paths, waves and water appearing to look like smooth silk, or light trails from stars and fireworks, long exposures capture moments that a traditional point and shoot or cellphone can't get. A long exposure helps us to trace the pattern of time and render things in a different way to how we are used to seeing them, creating a fascinating image truly from the eye of the lens.


Behind The Shots: Photography involves a lot of quick movements when you are traveling or taking photos of people and moments. You need to be fast or you'll miss out on so much. Long exposures are the opposite, as you need time to set up your camera and allow for light to enter through as you sit there and wait. Long exposure photography is rewarding, as you get to stay put for a few moments and enjoy the surroundings. The style can be tricky because if you move your camera even slightly, the photo will be altered and your foreground will be moving around. The moments below are some of my favorites over the years. We have light trails in Long Island, London, and Berlin, fireworks in Georgia, and outdoor shots from New York. Enjoy!


Camera: Nikon D90 // Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F/1.8G

Nikon D7100 // Nikon AF-S Nikkor 35mm F/1.8G + Tamron 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5

For my entire portfolio of work, follow the links below. Facebook: Will Tondo Photography Instagram: @WCTPhotography Website and Portfolio: WTondo

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