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The Key to Long Exposure.

Posted by on February 20, 2012

My tips when it comes to taking pictures with Long Exposure:

1) Take Many Shots

I will usually take a variety of shots with different shutter speeds until I find the speed that works the best with the picture in front of me.

The above shot was taken at 1/4 sec.  And for the entire night this was the shutter speed that worked with my camera and the lighting for that evening.

2) Have a TRIPOD

For any night shot, and any shot specifically designed with long exposure, a TRIPOD is a must.  In Los Angeles, there are certain areas of the city that do not allow tripods, so before you go out, always research the vicinity to make sure it’s okay.  Otherwise just blame dumb, and wrap up the tripod and carry it with you if security does tell you to put it away.

3) When it comes to traffic, there are no tips, but to keep shooting!

Getting that perfect traffic shot usually comes from taking many, many pictures.  You can have the perfect set up and a few of those pictures will definitely come out, but the key is to take many from a variety of angles.

The shot above was taken with a Canon Powershot SX10is.  It is a Point and Shoot camera, so yes, you can still do long exposures with a camera that isn’t SLR, however, the quality of the shot isn’t nearly as clear, as you can see.  For me, this shot would have better if the buildings in the background would have been brighter, and even the bridge in front.

4) Observe your Surroundings

As the photographer you are control of the picture you put out.  Always be aware of your surroundings, and what could make the best possible shot.  Do not be afraid to do try new things, or to push yourself to new possibilities.  That is how you continue to grow as a photographer.  Keep learning, keep looking at scenes differently.

5) Have Fun with It

Some of the best photographers are those that see a group of people, think of a way to pose them then take the shot.  When it comes to Long Exposure, take advantage of the neon lights around you.  Take advantage of people walking by, or even the cars passing by.  Those make for some fun shots.  So, have fun with it, play with your camera, and laugh along the way.

Just a few tips when it comes to Long Exposure.  I’m no expert, but I’m continuing to learn my way behind a camera =)

 

 

9 Responses to The Key to Long Exposure.

  1. Holly

    Good tips! I’m much more in favor of getting tips for anything from a regular, normal person who learned something through trial and error because they loved doing it than from most so-called “experts.”

    • jamiegall1930

      Thanks Holly. I really appreciate that =) The truth is I”ve taken myself out with a ton of photographers the last year and have learned through observation and conversations from them. =)

  2. Lisa Taylor

    Interesting suggestions. Why do some areas of LA not allow tripods? Security? I find that interesting as well – I would never have thought of it!

    • jamiegall1930

      There’s a variety of reasons. For some places it’s because they’re trying to protect the bulding or premises. For others,it’s because the places get far too crowded and a tripod adds to that, and for others, it’s reason of safety, “people could trip over the tripod.”

      I really don’t agree with it. LA is a city of rules and regulations ;) often times very frustrating!

      • jamiegall1930

        and another reason is a properties way of protecting the property. They can’t tell a professional from an amateur so they just come out with the “no tripod” rule ;)

  3. Candi

    I really know nothing about photography, so I appreciate getting tips. Thanks.

    • jamiegall1930

      Candi, I think I’m going to talk a little bit about photography tips down the road and share what I know =) It can go with some of my photography Monday posts.

      Hope you enjoy!

  4. Shelley

    I love the effects that a long exposure creates! Thank you for the great tips!

  5. Alexis Grace

    I RARELY shoot with flash, so I am the queen of long exposure.

    As far as the traffic shot— I would also suggest to follow the movement of the cars.

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