Weekly theme 11th February 2019 - Long exposures


(Helen Hooker) #1

Hello everyone, I hope your week has started well! We’re back to a technique related theme this week. I was sure we’d done this one before, but it’s not listed in my database so now seems as good a time as any!

This week’s theme is Long exposures

Shooting a long exposure can be a great way to create an image that’s not visible to the human eye. We see the world around us in real time, but opening the shutter of our camera for extended periods of time will blur movement and give a sense the passage of time.

So what sort of pictures can you create with long exposures?

Very often they’re used for landscape photography, showing the movement of water or clouds in the sky. This can be a marmite look for some photographers (love it or hate it!) but it’s a great technique to experiment with, even if you decide ultimately you don’t like the look!

In this photo by Scott Warburton, the water falling across these rocks has been softened to create that dreamy, milky look. Because the water is flowing quickly, an exposure of just half a second was long enough to create this look

If you fancy trying a much longer exposure, the following image shows examples of two possibilities. If you live in a city, light trails are great fun to create - simply set up near a road (in a safe place!) and take a long exposure of the traffic passing by. The cars and lorries will disappear, leaving behind the lines created by their lights.

In this image Samuele Errico Piccarini, has done exactly this. However, he’s captured some wonderful star trails too! These are created not by the stars moving, but by the movement of the earth as it turns. If you fancy trying this you’ll need to be somewhere very dark (with as little light pollution as possible) and a clear sky too.

If you think these ideas might be a little ambitious, don’t forget you can always have fun with long exposures in more mundane settings. Here Christopher Johnson has used a long exposure in his kitchen to create a sense of movement. The kitchen is tack sharp, while you can see the person in the picture has moved while the shutter has been open.

How to create a long exposure

This is one type of photography where you will need some kind of support for your camera. If you have a tripod, that’s great, but don’t overlook other possibilities if you don’t. A beanbag can come in handy as way of supporting your camera, or you could even find a level hard surface to rest it on.

A couple of years ago I wrote an article all about long exposures, which you might find handy. Do take a look here and it may give you even more ideas!

Hopefully that’s given you plenty of inspiration - I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with! Now, where did I put my tripod……

How to participate:

  • Please submit your photo by midnight GMT on Sunday 24th February
  • To submit a photo, hit the Reply button below and upload your image(s). Please limit each post to one image.
  • Please try to also share your picture on your page over the main Photoblog platform and encourage others to visit the theme thread to participate and vote.
  • To vote, click the :heart: heart icon.
  • If you post your picture early in the week don’t forget to pop back to see what others have shared and to cast your votes!

Winners of the last theme

We have two winners for our bird photography theme from last week. We had lots of wonderful entries, but the most popular ones were

@turtlesnaps with a Northern Mockingbird

and @lauriemadsen with this colourful Cardinal

Congratuations to you both!


(Berckmans Peter) #2


Ghost train


(Kenny H) #3

Not sure I understand, but here’s my attempt at capturing a “fidget spinner”.


(Kevin Wenning) #4

An evening on PCH Highway.

I’ve not seen any official rules for these challenges. Is it expected that everyone takes/submits a new photo for each theme?


(Berckmans Peter) #5

You can go out and take a new picture on the challenge,our search your files if you do not have the time to go out. Don’t forget to vote for your favourite.


(Lakshmi Bhat) #6


(Laurie Madsen) #7

Thanks to everyone that voted! I’m glad you liked it.


(Laurie Madsen) #8


Light Painting


(Bethany Plonski) #9


Thank you to everyone for liking my mockingbird last week! This week’s theme was definitely a challenge for me.


(Jon Fitton) #10


(Petr Macek) #11


Here is some long exposure - picture taken in Stanford.


(Helen Hooker) #12

I didn’t manage to get out and shoot something new this week, so here’s a shot from a local church. Not an especially long exposure (3.2 seconds), but enough to turn me into a ghostly figure!