Using a slow shutter (long exposure) is one of my favoured photographic techniques.
I’m often thinking about how I can incorporate slow shutter into my imagery. It has a distinctive look and simplification of the scene that I really find appealing.
As is usual 🙂 for my friend Gerry, he sent me a late night invite to join him for a sunrise session the next morning. Interestingly the planning for this actually didn’t take much longer than 5 minutes (normally there’s a flow back and forth of failed suggestions before eventually locking something in). Perhaps I was just tired – I caved immediately and just said yes to the first suggestion :).
So we met around 5:15AM at Mahon pool at Maroubra, in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
Sunrise wasn’t till 6:06AM this morning so even starting shooting at around 5:30AM we had some time for some natural long exposures before twilight really kicked in.
Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger. To see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer click any of the images.
The slow shutter technique is something I can turn to when things aren’t totally working for me otherwise.
I took two images from essentially the same spot with roughly the same composition only minutes apart.
The first image is a simple natural exposure with a Polariser and 3 stop hard grad filter. It’s technically still a slow shutter (10 seconds) but personally I don’t call it a long exposure till I get to bulb mode (> 30 seconds) :).
To see the difference slowing the shutter right down can make I’ve added a Lee LittleStopper (a 6 stop ND) to really extend the exposure time. I had to bump the ISO a little so it wasn’t too insanely long (especially since I generally just wing my exposure times in bulb mode as I’m going along). Anyway 255 seconds later we have this variant with a very different feel to the scene.