Tutorial on creative long exposure photography

To make good photos using long exposure you actually don't need expensive equipment. The long exposure time is usually longer than half a second. Because of this you need to have a tripod. What you have on your shot depends on the time the shutter was open. The longer it was open, some subjects in your frame may be more blurry or even disappear.
You need to consider three things when you play with long exposure photography:

  • First of all it is the amount of daylight or ambient light because too much light may come to your sensor if you leave the shutter open for a long time. So you need to adjust your aperture and ISO settings to control the amount of light, in some cases you will need a neutral density filter on your lens to block some of the light.
  • How much blur do you want to have on your picture.
  • How fast your subject is moving. If shooting a Formula 1 race, even 1/100 shutter speed will produce blurry images of the car but if you are shooting a walking person, you may need to go down to 1/15 to achieve the same effect. It is true with any moving subjects like clouds or water. If it is moving slow, your shutter speed need to be longer.
When photographing moving cars at night, you can get nice looking lines of light. If you want people to disappear from your image, for example tourists, just set a long exposure, up to 30 sec and there will be a lot less disturbing people around a sight. It works great for smoothing water (exposure time 20-30 seconds). The water becomes transparent at these settings and you can see through it.Set your camera to Shutter priority and choose different speeds.