Written by Marjorie Dawson

Dramatic Night Exposures Need A Tripod

Dramatic Night Exposures Need A Tripod

Long exposures can be a lot of fun. You can captre spectacular light trails created by moving cars or blur running water but often the smallest wobble ruins a great shot. How do you stop the dread wobble and shake? Night exposures need a tripod!

A tripod will keep your camera stable enough to create cool effects like the ones here. I usually carry my Manfrotto monopod as it gives that essential touch of stability in day time but, for this evening study class, I borrowed one of my tutor’s lightweight tripods. This was the first time I had been out for a night shoot. If you have a Joby Gorillapod it ill fit nicely in a camera bag or rucksack and not take up too much space.

Remember buildings or your landscape won’t move so the contrast with a moving vehicle (or water running around rocks) can be spectacular.

This building is the cinema that hosted the world premiere of The Hobbit back in 2012!

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Night time Light trails captured by a camera
Courtney Place, Wellington ISO 200 50 mm f/10 exposure 4 seconds
Person moving in front of a building
Movement blur in front of a building – ISO 800 50 mm f/5.6 Exposure 0.30000
Moving bus with light trails long exposure
Bus Light Trails, Wellington, NZ – ISO 200 50 mm f/5.6 1.6 second exposure

Long Exposures On A Smartphone

I have a few tips I gathered during my experiments. On an Apple smartphone do the following:

  1. Use Live Photo to take a picture.
  2. Open the image in the Photos app.
  3. Swipe upwards underneath the photo and find Long Exposure.
  4. Tap the long exposure ‘image’ to get the Long Exposure setting..

I am not quite sure what is meant to happen so I will continue to experiment but I hope the two images below show where everything is on an iOS phone. For Android users ‘Long Exposure Camera 2’ app is recommended by Adam Juniper.

Finding Long Exposure in an iOS phone book page
Finding Long Exposure in an iOS phone page in a book

Long Exposure Settings & Hashtags

Because many of you post on Instagram you might like to try try using #longexposure #exposure #tripod #ndfilter and/or #lighttrails hashtags. Recommended filters are rich colours in Juno and Clarendon on Instagram.

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Finally, the cat you have been waiting for!

This is Chenzou.

This is an older image but it seems in keeping with the theme of darkness and drama and I like it. Chenzou lives at home now, having been a cafe host for almost three years. I am missing the original so cannot provide the settings. The photo was taken using a small Joby Gorillapod.

Dramatic photograph of Chenzou the Cat

4 thoughts on “Dramatic Night Exposures Need A Tripod”

  1. Such gorgeous photos and what a lovely one of Chenzou, so full of mysterious atmosphere. And I’m so happy he has a home!

    Reply
  2. Wow, I learned something today!
    If I ever get another smartphone, I might just try that with live photos. I always thought they were just like tiny video clips, but I didn’t know you could do that with them. I think I can make long exposure with my camera…and I HAVE a tripod; actually I have three! LOL! I inherited a large bulky one from my Dad, and the other two are smaller to use on, say a table.
    I wish I could find one of those remote shutter releases to hold the shutter open manually, to get images of the stars traveling through the night sky.

    Reply
  3. I love that photo of Chenzou, and am glad he has a forever home now. 🙂

    Long exposure photography is great; I am hoping to try more of it this year!

    Reply
  4. Those are all seriously beautiful photos, especially kitty! Thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

    Reply

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