What is the purpose of this technique? To make magic in a photo, to catch an object, to take it out of the turmoil of the surrounding world, or, on the contrary, to show the duration, the infinity of processes. What to shoot with a slow shutter speed during the day and at night, told in this material.
You can read about the best exposure tips for photographers if you are interested in doing double-exposure photography.
Shooting with a Wire
This is a very Basic Method. The model is in motion – a car driving, an athlete running. The photographer “guides” the subject by moving the camera so that it always remains in the center of the frame during the entire exposure time.
This technique is indispensable if:
- you can’t get close to the model/building/object;
- you want to capture the dynamics and speed of the movement;
- you cannot use the flash (e.g., if you are shooting dolphins at an aquarium).
How do you take a picture with a slow shutter speed? It’s best to work in M mode (manual) or shutter speed priority (TV or S). The size depends on the task and the speed of the subject. For example, for a rider, or an animal, 1/30-1/60 sec is enough. For a car, for example, 1/125 is fine. The slower the shutter speed, the blurrier the background and edges of the subject. The shorter the shutter speed, the sharper the picture.
It is best to choose equipment that works in autofocus mode (AI Servo AF or AF-C). If you don’t have this option, you can manually focus on the spot where the model will be approximately when you press the shutter.
If you can still use the flash, you can do a combination shot. The sync should be set on the back shoe. The photographer does the wiring and the flash fires at the end of the movement. As a result, the final action will be sharp, and the previous ones will remain blurred.
There is a second technique. You don’t have to move during the shoot, only the model moves. This is often used to photograph water, tracks of lights (from stars to highways), and people. Long shutter speeds without wires make for beautiful nighttime photos. For example, if you want to take a picture of a building with bright lights, but there are a lot of cars driving between you.
If you take a picture at a slow shutter speed, there will be cars in the foreground. The shot is ugly and crowded with unnecessary objects. If you take a picture of the city with a slow shutter speed, there will be no cars in the foreground. Only the tracks of lights from parking lights and stop lights will remain.
Light (Frieze Light)
Light source drawings, also known as frizz lights, are a popular trend. The secret is that the camera will not catch individual places where there is a lantern, LED strip, or Bengal fire. There will be a whole pattern in the frame, which can be created by the light source.
For such a picture, you will need several lanterns glued together. Each needs to be painted in a certain color or put a colored sticker on top. You can buy colored flashlights right away. The model should not move, and the camera should be placed on a tripod. The assistant should run around the model with the luminous tape on. He will move quickly and only a trail of colored lights will be left in the picture.
You can get the effect of scattering sparks by tapping lighted Bengal lights on the spokes of the wheels. Important: drawings by light on a long exposure should be not only beautiful but also safe. Therefore, it is necessary to remember fire safety and be sure to keep something nearby with which you can quickly put out the fire. So, using a long shutter speed on the camera and a sparkler, you can make interesting shots.
Plumes of lights for these shots can be obtained by tying a Bengal flame tightly to a wire. The assistant will have to run around the model, untwisting the wire to make waves, and circles. It is important to remember that this is a fire hazard and should be used very carefully. For example, away from easily flammable objects. You can make the process safer by replacing the lights with flashlights.
Shooting at slow shutter speeds without wiring helps you get beautiful shots of bodies of water. That’s why this technique is often used when shooting landscapes. The more ripples in the water, the longer shutter speeds are needed to smooth it out.
Important: if there is a strong wind and a lot of small trees or bushes around, not only the waves but also the leaves will become blurred. So it is better to choose windless days for shooting. Ocean, lake, waterfall, fountain — any place with water will do.