Long Exposure

And I love it.

The other day I decided to send my high school graphic design teacher an e-mail asking for photography advice. Since I was in high school she has retired from teaching, and now works as a professional photographer/mom; I really admire her work. I was quite pleased this morning when I received an e-mail from her saying she would be very pleased to help me out. I feel like the advice she gave me was invaluable. She mentioned over editing, which is something I tend to do. Before she mentioned it I didn’t even notice that a bunch of my photos are, in fact, being inhibited by this.

She also mentioned framing. Framing is something I struggle with when I am out taking photos. I have been known to produce some awkward shots, things that aren’t quite lined up properly, and sometimes even objects I didn’t notice in my view finder. A lot of the time this happens because I rush things; I don’t take the time to view a shot, especially when the shot has to happen from an awkward uncomfortable angle.

Tonight I used this information to my advantage to produce the shot above. One of the reasons I wanted a tripod was so I could experiment with long exposure photography at night. The above image was exposed over a span of 30 seconds, and was edited very minimally. To be honest, I felt the image was perfect before I applied the auto-enhance preset in Aperture. In the image there is a bit of lens flare, which I have now learned is associated with the UV filter on my lens. While the lens flare is completely unintentional, in this case I do not feel like it detracts from the photo. If anything, I feel like it adds some visual interest to a generally uninteresting photo. The next thing on my list is probably going to be a remote shutter release. I tried to do some HDR shots, but the camera shake from pressing the shutter button was too much and the images were not close enough to be useful for the HDR process.

I am very happy with how the above image turned out, and I am excited to experiment further with long exposure.