You like them? Have you ever observed them with desire? Have you ever wondered how they are made? Have you ever wondered if the rest of the mortals who also have a digital SLR camera could get photos like that one day?
Do not be stunned by so many questions. Today I will explain the technique used to get photos of this type. I will guide you through very simple and easy to understand steps, with hardly any technicalities or photographic jargon. Ready?
THE OPERATION OF LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY
The first thing you have to understand is the operation of this technique. If you are a regular reader of the blog you will know by now that the camera records (records, captures, captures …) the photo in a fraction of a second. At the moment when we press the shutter button there is a small hole in the camera’s very tiny lens, known as a “shutter” that opens and closes in a small fragment of a second and allows light to penetrate the camera and so that the image is recorded inside.
What would happen if that shutter could be kept open for a long time, for example 2 or 3 seconds? Well, you would simply get a photo composed of everything that happened in those 2-3 seconds. Everything would be captured and captured in the photo, everything, one thing on top of the other.
THE TECHNIQUE, EXPLAINED STEP BY STEP
Whether you have understood the previous paragraph (hopefully yes) or not, let’s take action. Do not worry, we will get the photo even if we have not fully understood how it works. Just stick to the steps .
STEP 1: CAMERA IN S / TV MODE AND HIGH VALUE IN SECONDS:
Set the dial of your SLR camera to semi-manual shooting speed mode. How do you get this? If you have Nikon, go to «S» mode and if you are from Canon, go to «Tv» mode.
Now move the control wheel of your camera. You will see that there is a value that is altered. That value has a format similar to 1/2000 or something (it can be 1/5000; or also 1/23; etc.). Well, that value will go down gradually, little by little, until we reach 1 ″ (which would mean 1 second), and then we will continue turning the wheel until we reach 3 ″ seconds, 20 ″ seconds, or the number of seconds that we want
In summary, this step consists in simply placing ourselves in S (or Tv) mode and starting to turn the control wheel until we can visualize a value like 8 ″ (seconds) or the number of seconds we want.
The amount of seconds at the moment does not matter. The important thing is to learn the technique. Once we have mastered it, it is about experimenting and testing until we find the number of seconds that gives us the best result.
STEP 2: SEEK STABILITY
It is important that the camera does not move while taking pictures. Here it is a long photo in time, which is going to be taken for many seconds, and therefore it is ESSENTIAL that the camera does not move so that we do not find the image moved. The most advisable thing would be to make us with a well anchored tripod, but if it cannot be done, any stable surface that does not have any vibration or movement could also be useful.
STEP 3: SHOOT STEALTHILY
We are interested that the camera does not move in the least, not even that faint movement when we press the shutter button. For this we are going to use a remote trigger (with cable, with infrared) or, for those who do not have a remote trigger, it can also serve as a solution to use the camera’s timer, of 2 seconds for example. This will give us time to press the shutter button and move away so that when the camera starts recording the photo we do not influence with any vibration, no matter how small.
STEP 4: EXPERIMENT
It is impossible to get good long exposure photos without experimenting. No one has ever achieved a splendid long exposure photo without having experienced and tried several times before. Go experimenting. First get the technique. Once achieved, you will see that the result comes out but not in the perfect way ( photo moved , too bright, too dark) so at that time you will have to perfect, improve, correct the errors.
6 TIPS TO GET BEAUTIFUL LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOS
- Don’t waste your time trying to get long exposure photos during the day. You need some darkness. Experiment at night. They can be done during the day, but for a beginner it is better to practice with night photos.
- The best long exposure photos normally contain objects with moving light: cars traveling on a road, operating roundabout, etc.
- Get inspired by others’ works on Flickr or other online networks and galleries. Search for the word «long exposure photos» .
- In addition to the light that “moves” in the photo, try to make the frame contain prominent elements: buildings, banners, drawings, screens, or even people, etc.
- Before starting a long exposure photo session make sure you have a well-charged battery. This technique consumes a lot of battery and you should be prepared.
- Most cameras allow a maximum of 30 ″ of exposure time. However you can go beyond that time, reaching several minutes if one wishes, for which you will have to put your camera in Manual mode “M”.
What I like most about learning is practice. Everything you have read so far is not going to help you ANYTHING if you don’t put it into practice. Do you dare to practice? If you get any “presentable” results, do not hesitate to share it with us below in the comments
Are these tips and tutorials helpful? Do you find them easy to understand? Do you think they can be useful to more people?