One of my greatest joys in photography is making long exposure photos. Whether it be a 15-second shot of the northern lights, a 2-minute exposure of a sunset or a 30-second shot of a city, as I’m waiting for the camera to do its magic I can look around and enjoy the world without the camera in my face. For someone who takes 300-500 photos a day when I’m out traveling, this break – while also getting to make photos! – is a refreshing change of pace.
Long exposures have a way of a softening the edges of life – a traffic jam becomes a river of light; a rough sea becomes a placid mirror; a busy square magically becomes devoid of people. It liberates the camera from making a copy of the world and allows it to make art. It also requires more patience and planning, since long exposures are almost always shot in manual mode and sometimes with a neutral density filter, I have to think about what I’m doing and not just fire away rapidly.
Below is a collection of long exposure photos I’ve made around the world in different settings. Click any photo for a slideshow view.
Do you shoot long exposures? What is your favorite part of photography?