Monday, May 21, 2007

What is Long Exposure?

Going back over the blog pasts it has become increasingly apparent that this blog focuses on so of the more technical aspects of long exposure photography. It also assumes that the reader has been working with long exposure for sometime. This is great for the remember so the Flickr Long Exposure group who have been experimenting with the genre. However this site is not very helpful for uninitiated. The ones who might not be sure what LE actually is. Since this site is supposed to be the LE group's way of branching out into other realms I figured it would be helpful to discuss the basics of Long Exposure. What it is and how to do it. The next series of posts will try to do exactly that.

There are two ways to approach defining Long Exposure photography. One is the technical definition the other is the artistic definition. The technical definition is as follows; any picture take has been taken with a long shutter speed. This begs the question what is a long shutter speed? That is obviously open to debate.

In the group itself I've had my own ideas on what Long Exposure is. I define it as the rendering of light and motion in time through photography. Now that's a little cryptic. What does the definition mean? Well to use a terrible cliche, pictures are worth a thousand words; in that spirit here are some examples from my own long exposure work. As you can (hopefully) see I came up with the definition by looking at some of my own LE work and trying to describe it. As time went by in the definition expanded and enveloped ideas I did not originally conceive as long exposure. A great example is the current group icon titled: transubstantiate by fallsroad. Which he achieved by using computer visualization. When I set the definition for the group I did not even imagine that computers could achieve images like the ones he creates however they certainly fit into the guide lines.

Now that we have defined long exposure photography technically and artistically the next logical question is how do the definitions relate to the real world? The answer lies in a combination of both the technical and the artistic definitions. Long Exposure photography is the capturing of light and motion by using a long shutter speed. Still too vague a concept? Well that's actually the point Long Exposure photography is a new concept that has not fully been established as a genre yet. That means one can go out take some pictures and add to the definition.

The next post is going to cover the history of long exposure photography and some examples of famous artists who are masters of the concept.

1 comment: