This beginner’s guide walks you through the basics of long exposure photography

Feb 12, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This beginner’s guide walks you through the basics of long exposure photography

Feb 12, 2021

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Long exposure photography is a lot of fun, whether it’s landscapes, cityscapes or light painting. It’s a technique that offers a lot of options to show the world in photography in a way that we don’t normally get to see it with the naked eye. How to shoot them sounds obvious. The clue is in the name. “Long exposure”. But it’s not always that easy.

They’re not that difficult to get to grips with, though, and you can shoot them with just about any DSLR or mirrorless camera (or perhaps even your phone!). In this beginners guide to long exposure photography, Paul at Photo Genius walks us through the basics of how to get started with shooting long exposures

Long exposures are determined by your shutter speed. But when there are things that can prevent you from reaching the long shutter speeds you desire. Mostly, the light level. There are ways to help solve this issue, like dropping your ISO down as far as your camera will let it go, which will help, but that isn’t always enough.

Sometimes you might need to stop your aperture down – potentially giving you more depth of field that you really want in your shot – or add neutral density filters in order to reduce the amount of light actually entering your lens in the first place. And sometimes you might need to use a combination of both stopping down the aperture and filters working together to wrangle the light under control.

But whatever challenges you may face as you take your first steps into the world of long exposure photography, this video should help get you started.

Have you experimented with long exposures? Let’s see some in the comments!

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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