Using a slow shutter speed allows for a completely different style of photography – from light painting to capturing smooth water effects. This article features a quick introduction to this style of photography, followed by 50 really amazing examples of the technique in action. Hopefully you’ll leave feeling inspired!
Shooting With a Slow Shutter Speed
At the most basic level, you simply need to place your camera on a tripod (or flat surface) then make sure the shutter speed is set to a low value. Anything from around 1/10 of a second should allow an interesting effect, and experimentation is key – you’ll probably need to play around to find the most appropriate setting. Most SLR cameras allow you to reach up to around 30 seconds before the bulb setting, which simply keeps the shutter open for as long as you hold the button.
Steve Berardi has already written a tutorial here on Phototuts+ on how to shoot waterfalls which helps introduce the idea of shooting slow shutter images.
Light painting is a common theme when dealing with slow shutter speeds, this tutorial introduces you to painting in light and using a slow shutter for dramatic effects.
Michael Bosanko is my favorite light painter. Using a massive array of different torches each image has a different feel. With many well known clients including The Sun, WFF, talk talk and more… you might have seen his work and just not released it.
Sara describes herself as a "barefoot girl" who knows her camera like the back of her hand. Normally shooting peoples weddings, these examples are a little different from her normal shots but show some true talent.
"My approach with photography has something instinctive, like an impulse which makes me press the shutter release at a precise time in order to capture the place, the ambiance, people.."
Tyler Westcott (MumbleyJoe)
"Really, I’m just a guy taking pictures." Tyler has a fantastic array of different photos mostly showcasing California and each one is better than the next.
Here is a collection of long exposure photos from various photographers; simply click the photo to go to the original location and find out more about that photographer.
Thanks For Reading!
If you have any suggestions for future roundup articles, please post them below or contact me via my website. I hope you feel inspired, and look forward to looking at any examples you have to share in the comments!