Instructables

Make great long exposure photos.

Picture of Make great long exposure photos.
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Ever wondered how photographers take cool night pictures of roads in New York with the red and white car lights.

In this Instructable I will show you how to create these photos and other tricks using the same method.

HOW IT WORKS:
These photos are taken using long exposure settings on cameras. The car body doesn't show up in the photo as the road is exposed for a longer time, though the car lights show up as they are lights and will therefore be brighter than the lengthy exposed road.
 
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Step 1: Items/Tools needed

You will need:

1) A camera that has adjustable exposure settings. Usually 15-20 seconds is long enough. I find that digital SLRs work the best, though other cameras can be used.

2) A tripod or solid placement . This is to ensure the photo isn't blured by movement. This is esential as the long exposure will mean that any movement of the camera during the 15 or so seconds, will result in the image being blured.

You will also need a busy road that isn't well lit by street lights if possible.

To create the second type of photo in this Instructable (writing in the air, outlining people and objects) you will need a torch or LED light of some sort, preferably one that is not too bright, but is largely focuses the light straight forward instead of dispersing outwards.

Step 2: Firstly: Find the best location for tripod

The photo angle and tripod position is essential for getting the best photo result.

Find a road that is busy at night, but isn't over lit by street lamps and surrounding buildings. Try to ensure that your photo has a key feature in it, like a roundabout or impressive building or road structure.

The best results come from positions where the camera is positioned high up on a hill, bridge or building that looks down onto the location of the picture.
two suggestions.

1. canon eos rebel mark 3 with a pinhole lens
2. get another film camera and do the darkroom yourself.
MJDick2 years ago
Your pictures have inspired me to at least ask.

ok, I've been a hardcore film photographer for many years, and now with the loss of all wet labs in the area, have about given up photography completely. I would like to find a digital that would replace my film. I do the 8 to 20 minute exposures, but never seen a digital SLR that can handle that with minimal noise. at the 5 minute mark, digital gets worse, where film just gets better. lol

can anyone suggest a camera and model that can accomplish this? for an idea, some of my work is on MJDickPhoto.com. thanks for any sugestions.
Use cameras self timer delay (mine has 2 or 10 second options) to avoid jiggling the camera when pressing the shutter.
Ranie-K3 years ago
I like long exposure stuff too. I usually use existing objects as support -like poles, dustbins, fences and so on.
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NatNoBrains3 years ago
Nice
Phil B3 years ago
With film cameras the advice was to put the camera on a tripod and set the aperture to f/5.6 with film in the 100 speed range. Lock the shutter open on Bulb (time exposure) with a cap on the lens. When the burst goes up into the air remove the lens cap and replace it as soon as the burst has finished. Multiple exposures could be made on one piece of film. My digital camera has a manual exposure setting, but I am not sure it allows long exposures. I will check again.

Although I did it with a film camera, here is another use for a longer exposure, namely painting the interior of a large building with light to get a good photo of it.