In this edition of photo tips we talk long shutter speeds.Lots of people might have heard the term “painting with light” and this refers to using a longer (or slower) shutter speed to catch the movement of objects or light in a photo.
First of all some basics for this to work you will need to following:
- Camera with the ability to set shutter speed manually (normally all CSC or DSLRS)
- ND Filters depending on how long you want to go!
Next up find a good spot to setup your Tripod. What you want is a scene that has some movement in it. This will create motion blurs when you expose for a longer period of time.
Set your camera to S mode (or shutter priority) and set a time of around 1 second intially. Your exposure length will depend on lots of factors (e.g. Brightness of the area, amount of passing cars, etc).
Then set your camera self timer to 2 seconds (or use a remote release if you have one) and fire a shot. This will avoid camera shake that will ruin your shot.
It’s also worth remembering that if you have in lens/in body stabilisation you’ll probably want to turn that off whilst on a tripod as it can cause a blurry image.
Review the image. And make a decision:
- Two much blur = reduce the shutter time
- Not enough blur = increase the shutter time
The secret with this technique is to experiement, you can combine this technique with ND (netural density) filters to enable much slower shutter speeds during daylight with something like a Lee Big Stopper – upwards of 30 seconds in directly sunlight, or even minutes in length at night.
Below are a few examples of some of my images using slower shutter speeds:Have you tried some cool long exposure shots? Send me a tweet to show off your work or tag me on your Instagram posts.