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Controlling Light and Time in Photography

September 30th, 2020

Brennan Kauffman

Long exposure photography is a very unique style where you can use light and time to create motion blur as seen in the waves and clouds in the image above. This creates a sense of motion that is different than that of traditional faster shutter speeds.

For this photo, I set out around sunset to capture the rocky shore of Ogunquit Maine, which is a beautiful and very famous smaller town in southern Maine just south of Portland. I used an 85mm prime lens, instead of a traditional wider lens for landscape photography to create a different perspective that isn't used as much when photographing large landscapes. This requires extra time to frame the image properly since it's very narrow what is captured. Some of the longer lenses have given me breathtaking sunsets and such detail within the image that otherwise wouldn't be possible with a wide angle lens. What was interesting with this photo was, I wasn't planning to use a longer exposure, but I had to if I wanted to keep the image at its sharpest at f9 while keeping it noise-free by keeping the ISO as low as possible. For this select image, I used a shorter shutter at 1/8th of a second which is just shy of being too long to capture proper motion in the water without creating a mist look to it. I planned to use a wider lens initially but chose to test out my 85mm which in return created a very detailed image that was framed where I wanted it without having to crop and reduce the resolution.

Camera gear and settings used-

Nikon D780

Nikkor 85mm 1.8

F9, 1/8. ISO 100

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