Extended exposure.

by Ananth Monnappa August. 17, 2017 3005 views

Have you seen photographs of galaxies, light trails, star trails, smooth flowing waterfalls and ever wondered how these images were made ? well predominantly those photos are achieved through long exposure technique.

Most of us are fascinated by long exposure photo technique (the process of taking a single photo for more than one second) as it creates dramatic and supernatural character to the elements present in the photo. The technique is simple and if done properly will get us a few spectacular shots.

Many took it hard to believe this was taken at 1 a.m., The line in the sky is the long exposure of a plane landing onto the runway. KIAL, Bengaluru.

Many took it hard to believe this was taken at 1 a.m., The line in the sky is the long exposure of a plane landing onto the runway. KIAL, Bengaluru.

Long exposure simply means prolonged exposure to the camera sensor with a slow shutter speed. This is usually done at night with the help of a tripod or monopod, to capture light trails on the road, stars and galaxies in the sky, smooth waterfalls, and even creative designs using any source of light.

Adventurous night at Adventure stay. Auroville, Pondicherry.

Adventurous night at Adventure stay. Auroville, Pondicherry.

I was eager to test this technique ever since I learned about it a few years back and once I had my camera I started shooting at night like I had Insomnia.

Life in the fast lane, captured through a slow shutter. M.G Road, Bengaluru.

Life in the fast lane, captured through a slow shutter. M.G Road, Bengaluru.

Roaming the streets of the city gave me few good shots, but it also invited curious cops. I recommend comfortable clothes as you will have to walk a lot seeking good shots. Certain shots have to be done in complete darkness (for stars and galaxies) to avoid over exposure of street lights and other disturbances and these need to done in remote areas like a forest. But I would recommend to use caution before wandering off anywhere without security or extra help (as I have done several times).

Holes in the sky. Mekeri, Coorg.

Holes in the sky. Mekeri, Coorg.

For starters the camera settings can be confusing to achieve a long exposure shot as it is not just about prolonging the exposure.

Time stood still, dragging which moved. Thottikallu falls, Bengaluru.

Time stood still, dragging which moved. Thottikallu falls, Bengaluru.

The aperture/f stop needs to set according the scene that we are shooting, along with the ISO, time delay and the focus points. Always use a remote to activate the shutter to avoid shaky and blurry images.

So much energy, so many directions. Tumkur road, Bengaluru.

So much energy, so many directions. Tumkur road, Bengaluru.

For a fairly lit road in a city I would recommend a tripod with the settings of shutter speed from 5-10 seconds with a 2 seconds delay for the shutter, around 200-500 ISO, and 5.6-8 of f stops.

Shining bright towards the bottom is actually the moon. Avlagondanahalli, Bengaluru.

Shining bright towards the bottom is actually the moon. Avlagondanahalli, Bengaluru.

If you ever plan to use this technique in the daylight (for waterfalls and beaches) you will definitely need a ND (Neutral Density) filter that helps reduce the light from over exposing the photo.

Milky beach. Auroville, Pondicherry.

Milky beach. Auroville, Pondicherry.

Shooting long exposures can demand an adventurous initiative, but at the end when you finally process the export the photo there will surely be a smile on your face.

Long exposure shows the city as it stands still in the midst of all the life happening around. St Mark's road, Bengaluru.

Long exposure shows the city as it stands still in the midst of all the life happening around. St Mark's road, Bengaluru.

Hope you enjoyed this photo-experience as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Stories told in the dark. Avlagondanahalli, Bengaluru.

Stories told in the dark. Avlagondanahalli, Bengaluru.

All comments and discussions are welcome, keep coming back to this space for more such photo-experiences. Thank you for your time.

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There are 17 comments , add yours!
Nicole Bausman 3 years, 8 months ago

Every single photo is beautiful, thanks for all of the insight. 
My Favorite would have to be #9 just incredible!

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Nicole Bausman 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for that 😊 am glad you liked them

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Tawnya Boe 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for sharing your photos and your knowledge.  Keep teaching , you have readers learning!!!  Your shots are great - my favorites are of nature and put them into my favorites. :)

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Tawnya Boe 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you Boe, thats inspiring. 😊

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 3 years, 8 months ago

These are wonderful! Thanks for all the good info! WOW!!!

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Jay Boggess 3 years, 8 months ago

Anytime Boggess 😊

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Ananth Monnappa 3 years, 8 months ago

:=D 

Cheers!

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Heike 3 years, 8 months ago

Marvelous photos, I love especially #1. It's so cool to see the line of the plane but not the plain itself.

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Heike 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you 😊

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Camellia Staab 3 years, 8 months ago

Super! Detailed narrative and great photos. clap

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Camellia Staab 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you, I hope you found it interesting

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jill Bahm 3 years, 8 months ago

Beautiful images! I love the "milky beach." I've been wanting to do automobile trails of light - thanks for the inspiration!

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Jill Bahm 3 years, 8 months ago

Cheers Jill, I hope you take wonderful photos of light trails heart eyes

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Elizabeth B 3 years, 8 months ago

Ananth, gorgeous captures!! Those pics of the night sky...wow!! Thank you so much for taking the time to share these tips with the community.  So greatly appreciated. I'm inspired :) - Beth

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Elizabeth B 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for your appreciation, its great to hear my work is inspiring 😊

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 3 years, 8 months ago

Great shots, thanks for sharing

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
Ananth Monnappa Replied to Berckmans Peter 3 years, 8 months ago

Its my pleasure, thank you Peter grinning

3 years, 8 months ago Edited
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