43 : Long Exposure

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Intentional Blur

We have practiced freezing motion using a fast shutter speed. We have also tried panning by tracking a moving subject with a slow shutter speed. This week, we will complete the third and final exercise related to shutter speed: Long Exposure.

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Like panning, you will use an intentionally slow shutter speed to give a feeling of action and movement, but instead of moving your camera with the subject to keep it in sharp focus and create a blurry background, you let the action stay blurred.

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Set your camera to 1/30th or slower. Using a tripod or flat surface, focus on your subject, which will be stationery. Gently release the shutter to capture movement occurring around your subject.

You can see from the shots above that blur starts happening around 1/60 sec. Blur becomes more pronounced as the shutter speed is reduced.


Creative Prompts

Long exposures can be beautiful, exciting and surprising. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


1. A child standing still in a field of tall grass which is being blown (and therefore blurred) by the wind
2. Closeup of a face with hair being blown by the wind
3. Child on a sports bench with other kids moving around her
4. Child sitting still reading while other children are playing more actively in the background
5. A child standing still on a playground while other kids run around him

 Photo by Shoot Along participant Stephanie Schweitzer

Photo by Shoot Along participant Stephanie Schweitzer


Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!