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Long Exposers Part 1 (Stars and Moon)

This is the first part of my Long Exposer Tips that I will be sharing over the next few weeks. This week I will tell you about long exposures with the stars and moon. There will be 4 photos and under each photo will be the settings that I used a tip. Here is the first:


This is a photo of the stars, nothing special here. The shutter-speed was 10 seconds, aperture (f-stop) 2.8, ISO 320. This is just a normal setting for shooting stars and getting a little color in the sky.


This is the same exact area that I shot the photo before, but I changed the exposure. The shutter-speed was 313 seconds (a little more than 5 minutes), aperture 4.5, ISO 100. Now since I was shooting for a brighter shot I needed to bring down my ISO so I wouldn’t have any blowouts. Also the reason that the stars are streaked is due to the fact of the Earth’s rotation, and this shows just over 5 minutes of the rotation!


Now this is the moon, not the sun. The shutter-speed was 41 seconds, aperture 5.6, ISO 200.Whenever you do a long exposure shot of the moon, it will blow out the moon. This can work in your favor, because it will light up everything else. Also if you look at the top of the shot you can see the stars, which shows that with a wide enough lens you can get a shot with the moon and the stars.


The final shot is a picture of the moon over the ocean. The settings are the shutter-speed was 22 seconds, aperture 8, ISO 100. The starburst look to the moon is caused from the aperture, and the moon has a yellow tint to it because I made the photo warmer on Lightroom. The long exposure will also smooth out the water as you can see, and it made it so you can see a nice reflection of the moon on the wet sand.

The way that I was able to get the crazy long exposures was because of the “BULB” setting in my camera. If you go into your shutter-speed setting and scroll all the way to the left you will see where it says “BULB.” That means that as long as you hold down the shutter-release, the shutter will stay open, and the longer exposure you will have. This setting is good to get creative with, because the exposures will almost never be the same. I hope you learned something from this post, and make sure you come back next week for Long Exposures Part 2 (Landscapes).

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