As you know, our first free e-Book was launched and so we were all, including me, busy making Photoshop resources. Thanks to you, the e-Book has met with a landmark success. Now I am free to focus on the other subjects as well. For today, I chose a form of trick photography. So after many weeks, here’s a super tutorial for learning Long Exposure Photography.

As the name suggests, long exposure photo is when the camera’s image sensor was exposed to light for a longer period of time than usual. Traditionally this technique of is used for taking images at night, since the light is low, the lens is exposed the light longer, hence pictures become clear. But this technique also adds kind of a special effect to the photos. Below are a few examples:


Niagara Falls

Long Exposure

Exposure: 30 Seconds

Image by John A Ryan

Light House

Long Exposure Photos

Exposure: 114 Seconds

Image by MumbleyJoe (Tyler)


Photography Technique

Exposure: 10 Seconds

Image by Express Monorail

Sky ways

Long Exposure Techniques

Exposure: 1 Hour

Image by c@rljones

Spinning Wheel

Learning Long Exposure Photography

Exposure: 20 Seconds

Image by Sara Heinrichs (awfulsara)


Photography Techniques

Exposure: 2-5 Minutes

Image by Dene’ (Seattle) Miles


Long Exposure Photo

Exposure: 5-10 Seconds

Image by Patrick Smith Photography

Use of This Effect

Even though the photos above must have described the use of this effect quite efficiently, let’s also give the text a chance. This effect adds a kind of an art into the photos, this fact makes it one of my favorite types of photography.

If you take a long exposure photo of a hustly-bustly landscape, the camera catches light trails, thus it captures an amount of time. In the photo emerging as a result, you can actually feel the speed of the objects. And it can also create a dream-like mysterious environment on nature and landscape photography, for example try shooting a long exposure photo of some sunshine coming in from a guild of trees.

Taking the Shot

First of all, you must use a tripod, if you try to just carry the camera the whole time, the result will be just a mess of blur, even if you have an expensive camera with image stabilization.

Long Exposure shots are not good at everything, you should choose the right subject for taking such shots. High speed moving objects, such as rushing water or spinning giant wheel create pretty good results.

But the best results are always produced with lights, a long shot of a road with a 3-5 minute exposure time never misses to impress. Keep the shutter speed at a few seconds. There might be a setting in camera called “B” (or bulb), this setting let’s you keep the shutter open as long as you may want.

Also try to capture a shot which I always wanted to. The time you see a storm, focus your camera to spot where it is lightning the most. You should be able to capture many many lightning bolts in a single shot.

Extra Tips

Use a Remote to control the shutter and take the shot. If you press the button, it will shake the camera and the whole effort will be ruined.

Use Filters to hold back the light. Circular polarizers reduce two stops of light. There are many kinds of Neutral Density filters, you can choose the one that suits you.

Use “B” (or bulb), this setting let’s you keep the shutter open as long as you may want while usually the cameras restrict this time to 30 seconds maximum.

Use Small Aperture and the minimum the ISO is, the better the result will be.

Shoot RAW image and apply noise reduction because the longer the exposure is, the more noise you will get.

Set Up the Camera before the Dark because… I bet you know why!

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