Long Exposure : Demystified

Time and again, I have had requests and queries on how to take the amazing “trails” photos, today, I shall try to demystify them.

Long Exposure, Trails, Diwali Night, Marine Drive
The technique is called Long Exposure. As the name suggests, we make the photo’s exposure long. In doing so, any light source, or lit up object, that is incident on the sensor, shall be registered by it. In technical terms, we extend the time the shutter stays open, by decreasing the shutter speed. This causes the exposure to be “long”.

Here’s an example:

Long Exposure, Queens Necklace, Marine Drive, Mumbai

Now, to achieve this, we need to have a shutter speed that is low enough to form the light trails, while the aperture has to be such that the photo does not wash out, all the while maintaining the ISO at a level where there is not a lot of noise.
We can get to this unique combination by fiddling in the Manual mode:

Nikon D7200, Manual Mode setting

Or, by setting the camera in the Aperture Priority mode (AV mode in Canon).

Nikon D7200, Aperture Priority Mode setting

The objective should be to have an optimal exposure, despite the slow shutter speed.

Nikon D7200, Aperture Priority Mode setting

With enough practice, taking stunning photos shall not be difficult at all.
Long Exposure is amazing for smoothening out ripples in water, or giving the water a milky flowy look. Do try them out.

Long Exposure, Smootheing of Lake, Bangla Sahib, New Delhi

Slowing down water flow, Elephant Falls, Meghalaya

It is also useful to take photos in low light environments such as this dimly lit monument at the Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi.

Long Exposure, Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi

I shall conclude by stating that unless you practice, you shall not be perfect. Go out there, and explore the amazing world of long exposure.

Cheers!!

4 thoughts on “Long Exposure : Demystified

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s