In this article, we are going to give you five long exposure tips to maximize creativity. We’re going to teach you how to master a creative technique called The Shutter Drag otherwise known as Long Exposure Photography. This will help you maximize and enhance the level of creativity that you bring to each and every single one of your shoots. Let’s get started.
Overview: Long Exposure Tips to Maximize Your Creativity
Tip number one creating silky smooth water. One of the most exciting aspects of creative photography is capturing scenes in a way that your eyes would normally not see them. In the image below, the photographer Arjan Wilmsen used a longer exposure to capture the motion of the water. To accomplish this set your shutter speed to one-tenth of a second or slower to catch the action of the waves and to create a cloud-like appearance.
Tip number two light streaks with camera movement. There are a number of techniques that we can use to capture light streaks by moving the camera itself. For example, the camera twist technique incorporates both camera motion and direct flash. To create this image all you have to do is slow down our shutter speed to 1/8 of a second in order to let more ambient light in. Then take a direct flash and freeze your subject while twisting the camera to create motion in the image.
Another camera movement technique you can try is a whip pan. In order to do this place your camera on a tripod and unlock the panning knob in order to move the camera from right to left, slow your shutter speed down to 1-2 seconds and use a flash to freeze your subjects while capturing the light streaks with motion.
Tip number three light streaks with moving lights. Unlike the previous technique, this requires using moving lights instead of a moving camera. This can be done with anything from sparklers to string lights to passing cars. All you have to do is slow down your shutter speed to 1/10 of a second or slower to capture the motion of the light.
Tip number four capturing subjects under the Milky Way. One of the best uses of creative long exposures is for nightscape photography getting the proper exposure at night is challenging but not impossible. After placing your camera on a tripod choose a shutter speed based on the ambient available light. You can use our rough starting guide to dial in the settings based on your preference for a zoom or a prime lens. As we’ve discussed before we’re gonna use a flash to freeze our subjects but remind them to remain very still because we’re using slower shutters when photographing the Milkyway.
Tip number five isolate your subjects using motion blur. Our last technique uses a longer exposure to freeze time and create motion blur. Place your camera on a tripod and take a plate shot in your subjects in the frame using faster shutter speed. Then slow your shutter speed down to one-tenth of a second or slower based on the desired ambient available light. Next, take as many photos as you need of people filing in and out of the scene to make it appear full. Finally, composite the image of the motion blur with your plate shot to create your final image.
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