Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 16: Long Exposure

In the 30 Day Photo Challenge series ...



I showed Kyrie this long exposure picture to give her an idea of what "long exposure" meant, and she pretty much just wanted to duplicate it. 

I didn't end up with any good shots of the kids moving around, because we have too much background clutter, so I went with getting a shot of the snow. It's not much of a long exposure, because I discovered that if you try to take a long exposure when it's not entirely dark out, you get a very very white picture. This was as long of an exposure as I could manage and still have things be somewhat clear. 

Really, this whole getting-good-pictures thing is a lot of work.


  1. it is a lot of work, but good for you giving it a go!

    i got that Nikon D40 for dummies book so hopefully i won't be too far being you. because i have no idea as to what your talking about above!

    wasn't the snow lovely?!

  2. So, basically, if you want to shoot in fully-"manual" mode, instead of auto-mode, there are three main settings you will be able to change. You'll have to search around or look in the dummies book to figure out how to change the settings.

    Aperture: aka "f-stop", this one is marked by numbers like f3.2 or f22. The smaller the number is, the larger the aperture opens during the shot, which gives a smaller range of focus (meaning things in the background will be more blurred - good for close-ups but not good for landscapes). A smaller f-stop number also lets in more light.

    Shutter Speed: this determines how long your shutter stays open, and is given in seconds, usually fractions of a second. Look for numbers like "1/40" or "1/125". You want short speeds if you want to avoid blurring, on action shots. The "long exposure" I spoke of here is when you leave it open for a long time - I think on Kyrie's shot we had it open for 6 seconds while I waved the flashlight around in the heart pattern - which is also how they make those pictures with cars on the freeway being just a stream of light. "Time lapse" photos. For long exposures, it's very important for the camera to be on a stable surface, or else *everything* in it will be blurred. Also, long exposures let in a lot of light, which is why I was getting all-white pictures on my snow outside.

    Iso: This is basically just another way to control how light your picture is. Start with 100 for outside and 800 for indoors. (The higher you go, the more risk of graininess there is, but the lighter your picture gets.)