Photo diary 35/365. Longing for clouds - a journey to long-exposure waterscapes

12:47 PM

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In the beginning of my photographic journey I was longing for bright sun and full sunshine. It was the guarantee for sharp vibrant photos as my first compact cameras had limited abilities. But, then my first dslr came to make me love photo-shooting with cloudy weather so much that when I'm traveling in places near water, sometimes I wish I had a heavy cloud above my head. And, all of these in order to make long-exposure photos!

In simple words, long-exposure photography is when the shutter of our camera is open for a relatively longer time than the usual instant capture. That would mean more than one second or more. Shutter speed should be less than 1/4 of a second, ISO should stay lower than 200 and the aperture should be more than f5. As the number of the f-stop increases, it gives more blurity on the captured movements. This time-exposure results a silky continuity of the moving elements, but also leaves the stationary things sharp and clear.

Due to the nature of this technique, over exposed scenes would look totally white and 'burnt'. That's why long exposure is usually accomplished in low light conditions, like night, low light hours of dawn and sunset, 
cloudy and rainy weather, etc. In daytime, long-exposure is succeeded with the usage neutral density filters. Also, a tripod is recommended to minimize noise, as the long exposure increases sensitivity by capturing even the tiniest shakiness. 

Photograph Floating Bridge by Papanikolaou Joanna on 500px
Floating Bridge by Papanikolaou Joanna on 500px

Despite the headache that this technical play with the light may cause to the beginners, it is definitely worth trying it. It can create so beautiful and imaginative sceneries; misty-like flows in waterfalls, silky streams, smeared skies and milky seas. Once you do it, you will always want to see your scenery and in this way. The clear reality will never be enough again behind your lens ...  

As the photographer Dieter Appelt said once "A snapshot steals life that it cannot return. Long exposure creates forms that never existed".

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