If you havent heard this months community project is all about LONG EXPOSURES!!!
What the heck is that?!?
Well.. Its a lot of things. When Shannon and I sat down to brainstorm ideas for this project, we decided to go for a more open ended approach in hopes that the end result would be a wide range of creativity from all who participate. We realize that Long Exposure encompasses a large portion of our creative art, and can be interpreted in many different ways. Things from HDR, light painting/drawing, Night shots to creative blur and captured motion, the list goes on and on. The beauty of this is you can experiment and try so many different ideas and approaches.
Does it have to be something new to you? Absolutely not, however we always suggest that you push yourself creatively. Try new techniques or work on approaching old techniques from a new angle.
Shannon gave a few examples of her past experiences with this topic in her post on the collab HERE
I figured I would throw in some ideas on the topic as well to add to the creative spark. So below are some examples of a couple of the different techniques you could explore when approaching this fun and exciting genre of photography.
ISO 100 27mm f/11 12sec “Candle Magic”
This was one of the earlier Daily Exposures, and an extremely fun one at that (it actually won two awards in January as “best of” in the class of Fine Art in Pixoto’s photo competition). Light painting and drawing like the rest of these techniques has an endless amount of possibilities.
Not that you want to recreate this image, but the way that I did this was with a maglite, the kind that have the screw off head and reveal a bare bulb. When you reveal the bare bulb it gives you this ribbon of light that looks quite magical. Also I had the candle lit and the two light sources combined illuminated my hand as it made the rotations giving the interesting red glow around the scene.
- Which brings me to a great point… Don’t be afraid to fail and make mistakes when experimenting with these new techniques!! Not only did it take about 10 attempts to come to this image, I also didnt plan on the lights illuminating my hand, which in the end turned out to be a happy accident Theres no wrong way to do this stuff, only new ways to approach it creatively!
Now do you have to use a maglite? Absolutely not!! You can use any source of light that you want, as big or as little. Some other ideas include glow sticks, led flash lights, cell phones, large flash lights, sparklers, that marshmallow you set ablaze while trying to make your smores… again the list goes on. Get creative with it and remember to have fun!!
Night Time Shots & HDR
ISO200 18mm f/22 13sec “Night Time Presidential Museum”
ISO 200 24mm f/6.3 4sec “Night Shift”
Obviously I enjoy shooting HDR and typically squeeze one or two in each week. In this case I love what the long exposure does to bring these dark night scenes back to a working exposure.
The top pic was taken right at dusk and in order to draw in as much light as I could, while still shooting a small aperture (f/18) in order to get the starburst effect from the lamps, the shutter speed dropped to double digits in the seconds range.
The second shot was taken at I believe 1am if I remember correctly, on a different occasion then the one prior. And, although at that time of the night the scene was pretty dark to the human eye despite the lights from the city, the long exposure was able to capture all the detail and make its three exposures to make this image.
If your not familiar with HDR (High Dynamic Range), its when you set your camera up to “bracket” or take 3 (sometimes more if you own a Nikon) separate exposures… one at regular exposure, then one underexposed (typically by 2 stops of light or more), and one over exposed (again by 2 stops or more). You then use either Photoshops built in HDR software or an 3rd party software like Nik software HDR Effex Pro or my favorite Photomatix Pro from hdrsoft. This sofware then takes the details from all three photos and combines them, using crazy cool algorithms and math stuff that I could never in my life figure out, and makes a sort of super picture containing all the detail and substance from all 3 pics. This isnt meant to be a HDR tutorial however if requested I could put up a tutorial or refer you to some great resources on the subject
Do you have to do HDR for night time shots? NOPE! You could manage just fine with a simple long exposure, I just tend to lean towards HDR, as it gives me more flexibility to work with the details.
There are a couple examples to add onto the examples Shannon already shared in her recent post on the subject. Im sure we will post more examples as we go, and as always feel free to post your own thoughts, tips, tricks and examples in the comments below. We want this to be as interactive as possible so get to posting, and more importantly… get to shooting
If you want to join in on the fun, send an email to email@example.com with “Count me in on Long Exposures” as the subject line. Please include your first and last name as well as your blog/site address so we can give full credit when you submit your awesome photos!! The deadline for submitting photos is Sunday June 3, midnight est.
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