Slow shutter speed photography is a fascinating area of photography. It is like magic where you can manipulate the light and make something which is not possible to see without a photograph. Slow shutter speed takes your photography into a new dimension. It also expands your arena and scopes for creative photography. Slow shutter speed photography adds motion to the image and makes the photo a lively one.
All About Slow Shutter Speed Photography
Earlier I have written two articles where I discussed 10 Things To Consider For Shooting A Beautiful Light Trail Photography and How To Photograph Cool Flame Images Photography in Long Exposure. Today I shall try to discuss some of the photography which is done with slow shutter speed. In this article, few ideas will be discussed with some basic guideline for doing those.
1. Traffic Light Trail
The city you live in is a great place to do slow shutter speed photography. Search a vantage point from where you can get a good view of the whole road. It can be a foot overbridge, high rise building, top of a hill or anything like that. You must use a tripod without any doubt.
For this kind of photography using a wide angle lens. If your lens provides a wider aperture, then you can select a larger aperture size. But choosing a larger aperture will decrease the depth of field.
If the density of light is more in the area where you shoot then it is better to use a small aperture size. It will give you better depth of field. Depending on the amount of light, you have to select the time up to which you will keep the camera shutter open to the light. Use a remote trigger or a cable connected trigger for avoiding unnecessary shake of the camera.
2. Star Trail
Star trail photography is a bit lengthy process than the other type of photography. Take tripod always with you. For making star trail photo you have to capture multiple long exposure photography of stars. After that, you have to blend them together with any photo editor software. Photoshop is always preferable for making this, however, there is much more software for doing star trail.
Go to a place which is really dark with a clear dark sky. Set your camera towards the stars. Star Walk 2 is good software for finding the positions of the stars. There are many more apps which will give you the real-time position of the stars. A wide-angle lens with a broader aperture size is recommended for star trail photography.
3. Motion Blur
Motion blur photography can be done in many places with many subjects. Take the photo of a stream with slow shutter speed. The water will become blurred and give you the motion blur photo. Panning, long exposure etc are also considered as motion blur.
Suppose you are capturing the photo of something static but everything around that is moving too much. Just slow down your shutter a bit. You will see that the things around that will become blur giving an impression of motion.
4. Train and Trail
A train is a huge vehicle with numerous lights with it. The train always maintains a track and the movement is uniform. It does not change its direction suddenly and maintain a straight line usually. If the line is not even straight, the unstraight line is also moderate that means there is a gradual change with a curve. Now consider taking the trail of those lights. Like all other long exposure photography, you have to set your camera settings.
And elevated place can be helpful for capturing the photo of a train light trail. You can also do it with a leaving train or incoming train. But, taking a picture of an incoming train is a risky one and not obviously recommended. If you want to make a photo of a leaving train then you should select the position before the train comes. This is applicable if you want to take the photo from the track of the train.
5. Milky Way Photography
Chasing milky way by the photographer is always an interesting and fascinating job. This is similar to take star trail photography. But for this case, you have to make only one shot for one photo. Setting the ISO is important here.
Try to keep your ISO high but remember that higher ISO produce noise in the photo. Selecting a wide aperture may solve this problem. Milky way photography is ordinary photography among all slow shutter speed photography.
6. Soft Waves
Go to the bank of a river or any sea beach during the magic hour. You may select the blue hour or the golden hour. Use a good quality tripod and set your camera. Focus the waves ahead and make a good composition. You can site your camera for landscape photography.
After setting your camera you just make the speed of the shutter slower. It may be 3-5 seconds. When you are done then you will get a beautiful slow shutter speed photography. Let’s call it soft waves.
7. Light Spirals
Take a small light and tie it up at one end of a rope or thread. Set your camera with a tripod during the night. The place can be a long road or any place without having anything important. Select the shutter speed for 10/15/30 or beyond that by remote.
After pressing the shutter, start rotating the light holding one end of the thread and just start moving either from the far end of the road towards the camera or from the camera towards the far end of the road.
8. Thunder Lightning
This photography is amazing and risky. It will be risky if you do not consider the risk factors. You need to go to a vantage point from where you can get a landscape view. Preferably it becomes a high ground. And this is the reason this photography is risky because thundering will not consider a photographer.
You have to use slow shutter speed for this photography. But it will be tough to make the timing with the thunder. Thereby suggestion is to use the bulb mode and narrow aperture so that the photo is not overexposed.
9. Writing With Lights
The way you make light spirals which I have discussed earlier, you can do writing with lights. For this type of photography, you need a light which is not too strong thus overexpose the photo, again suitable enough to make a soft trail of light.
This type of slow shutter speed photography can amaze people. While writing on the air, you have to write reverse. If you can not do it then you have to make a mirror copy of the photo by postprocessing.
10. Moving Crowds
There are some crowds which are static like a crowd of a seminar and there are some crowds which are mobile like crowds of a market. The crowds which are mobile is a very suitable subject for slow shutter speed photography. Select a place from where you can get a suitable frame.
Do not take very slow shutter speed for this if you are shooting at daytime. For daytime, use a narrow aperture and shutter speed like one second or a bit more, but for capturing this photo always use a tripod regardless of day and night.
11. Soft Clouds
Clouds do move from one place to another and they also change their shape. Utilize this change for a beautiful slow shutter speed photography. It will make a very soft sky with milky clouds. If you take a short exposure then it will give you a photo where the motion of the clouds will be highlighted. You can add the water in your frame which will make an additional motion in your photo. Long exposure to this will make a fusion of soft sky and water of the river or sea.
12. Outline Shape
This is very easy and as the writing with light. You can take a human figure, car, motorcycle or anything you want. Set your camera into bulb mode after mounting it on a tripod. After starting the exposure, take light as the light suggested for writing with light. Go behind the figure or your subject and move the light around the subject. This will make a great slow shutter speed photography.
13. Flame Images
A separate article about making flame images was written by me. You have to take a few things which are available around you. Select a subject like showpiece of a motorbike. It can a replica of any vehicle also. Hold a lighter and spray at the background of the replica subject.
Before that, you must start the exposure of your camera. I personally like making this slow shutter speed photography. For learning details about this slow shutter speed photography read my article How To Photograph Cool Flame Images Photography in Long Exposure.
14. Zoom In and Out
This type of slow shutter speed photography is very easy. Just mount your camera on a tripod. Make a good frame for landscape or anything you like. Try to do it at night where there will be lights. Focus on the main subject and zoom in. select a shutter speed of five to ten seconds.
When you are set to click, start the exposure and then slowly start zooming out. You can do it by reverse order, that means firstly keep your lens zoomed out and then zoom in.
15. Spark Rain
For making this slow shutter speed photography you need to manage something which can create sparks. A cracker is a good option. There is an apparatus which is used to smooth metals after welding. You can take that too and it will be a good choice.
From one side provide the spark obliquely and place an umbrella against it held by someone. The exposure can be five to ten seconds. Remember, during this time the person holding the umbrella should not move.
Slow shutter speed photography is amazing and fun. There are lots of ideas for making photography with slow shutter speed. The best suggestion for making slow shutter speed photography is to see different ideas on the internet.
I hope the ideas which I have discussed will help you enough to master your slow shutter speed photography and make new ideas. Always go for an experiment with your imagination. That will either teach you something new or remove your doubts from something wrong. But, do not stop experimenting.