Once you’ve learnt the ins and outs of your camera and the basics of photography, you’re ready to take things a step further and use funky camera tricks to add some oomph to your photos. Long exposure is one of the first tricks photographers learn with their camera. It’s fairly simple to do and most people are able to pull it off in their first attempt.
Check out some of the funky ways you can make use of long exposure to take breathtaking photos:
1) Silky Smooth Water
You’ve seen those fascinating images of waterfalls where the water looks extra smooth and cloud-like; those mesmerizing photos are taken using long-exposure. The technique used to achieve this smooth water affect is referred to as “motion rendition”.
To attain motion rendition, you need to set your camera on a tripod, use long exposure and slow the shutter speed. The longer the exposure, the more “velvety” the water. Streams, waterfalls and rivers will call for shutter speeds of 1/15 for one second. Larger bodies of water will require even slower shutter speeds, somewhere between 5-30 seconds.
2) Light painting
There’s something so captivating about dim photos with “drawings” made of bright streaks of light. Light painting has become a milestone for all aspiring photographers.
You’ll need to sit your camera on a tripod and use long exposure. Head over to a dimly-lit area, hand your friends a light source such as a flashlight or a glow-stick and ask them to draw or write in the air.
Set the aperture to f/11, the ISO at 100, the shutter speed between 11 and 30 seconds and the mode to Bulb. Start off with simple drawings and then you can get into creating more complex images.
3) Stunning sunsets
Expert photographers go out of their way to take striking photos during sunrise and sunset. Some of the most amazing shots are taken during the hour before sunset. To capture beautiful sunset/sunrise photos, set your camera to either Bulb mode or manual mode and use a wide-angle-lens if you have one.
Capture the image using a slow shutter speed between 5 and 30 seconds. If you’re taking the photo near a body of water, the image of the water will appear more blurry with longer exposure.
4) Ravishing reflections
There’s so much more you can do with blurry water photographs. If you have bright lights around a body of water, the blurry water creates awesome reflections.
To capture photos with reflections, you’ll need a tripod to keep your camera steady and slow shutter speeds. Focus on the on actual object in the frame – not the reflection as you click your photo.
The author is an expert photographer with over a decade of experience in professional photography. He’s currently helping aspiring photographers improve their photography skills via online photography courses at IYPO; a website dedicated to teaching amateurs photographers.