Day +142: Long exposure

Last night, whilst we were waiting for a table at this restaurant, I experimented with long exposure. Whilst you’ll probably know long exposure in terms of night photography, there is another use for long exposure- that is to show time. It took a few tries to get a good effect (the best shot I think is the title of this blog). In this particular situation, I used settings that kept the shutter open as long as possible but still get a good exposure, so I set the ISO at 100, aperture at f14, and shutter speeds varying from 5 to 20 seconds:


In the image above, the shutter speed was long enough to see trails of people- the longer they stayed in the frame (and the longer they stayed still), the more they appear in the image. People who were just walking past registered as just a bit of blur.

Look at the 2 examples below. The first image is just a snapshot taken at 1/15th of a second:


In the next image, the same scene, shot with the shutter open for 20 seconds:


Note the overall exposure is the same, but the people are missing. They had moved on, and because they were not in the frame for very long, they did not register significantly in the image. This is one of the methods professionals use when they want to remove people from busy places (like when there are no people in Grand Central Station or in front of Cinderella’s Castle). Because the exposure was much longer, to maintain sharpness, I rested my camera on top of my camera bag, which was sitting on one of the tables.

This is just one of the many effects you can capture without any additional equipment, just with a little bit of knowledge of photography.

Until next time…. Happy photographing!