Make Beautiful Long Exposures of Whole Albums




About: A Northern Ireland based maker with a propensity to cause trouble and freshly constructed family.

I saw an article on gizmodo the other day that was just a photo of an album over a long exposure, I'm not sure what process the creator went through but I've emulated it here. 

You don't need much to do this:

 - A camera (Needs to have control on exposures
 - A computer
 - A tripod or something you can set up to keep the camera still
 - A bunch of photos

Step 1: Monitor Controls

The first frames I took were as so:

Exposure: 30s
ISO: 100
F stop: 32

The result was a completely white frame... 

You'll need to turn the lights off and lower your monitor brightness to about half, with the blue a few clicks below the red and green (this takes the colour cast out a bit. 

Step 2: Tripod

Put your camera on the tripod and set it up nice and straight with the bottom edge of the monitor, so the frame on the camera and the edge of the monitor are parallel. 

Now focus and frame your album, going full screen and using a slideshow would be clever but as this is an experiment I've used facebook photos. 

Step 3: Camera Settings

You'll want to have a low ISO, a high aperture and then choose an exposure between 30 and 6 seconds, below six seconds would be possible if you're using a program to flick through images automatically. 

I was using facebook... 

By the way, for those that don't know, when viewing photos on facebook you can hit the arrow keys to navigate them. 

For facebook or other internet approaches, click through the album until you've got all you need and go backwards so the pictures are preloaded and you don't end up with shadows of loading icons in the middle of your image.

Step 4: Click and Click

I clicked the shutter and started rythmically tapping the arrow key in as standard time as possible, at around a picture each half a second, if this is very hard find a drummer. 

Step 5: Results (oops)

My first set was ruined by the loire effect. 

 My monitor's 19" so I put a full screen slideshow of phone photos on the go, because it's in a folder called android so it was the first I came across...

Step 6: Results (yay)

The main thing about this is a big screen is best, resolution doesn't need to be high. 

So when I get a chance I'll update this with one done with the families 50" TV which should make all the difference, zooming in is part of the problem, the longer the focal length the more pronounced the effect is, even at a greater distance. 



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    37 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Just tried this, came out pretty cool. Didn't take a lot of thought really. pulled a close-up of my fiances eye, a picture of a mountain, a picture of the orion star belt, and a picture of a random galaxy into a folder. set my exposure to 6 seconds, and just gave some random taps on the arrow keys while holding my camera. holding the camera gave a slight motion blur which i think adds to the effect.

    1 reply

    Cool I've been meaning to set it all up with the big TV and try doing panning tilting and zooming too, to add to it...

    Thanks, they're not as trippy as the original idea but more like photos of the stuff in them, already been working on using the technique in different ways, unless will follow...

    I'm good with photoshop, but you can't recreate the effects that happen with photoshop, it's the weird little interactions that you don't plan and also the effects between screen and camera sensor.

    You could make an image that's much more coherent with simple blending modes and layer masks though.