Allan Savage's picture

"Long" = ?

Apologies if this is defined elsewhere, but I was wondering if there was a definition/consensus for this group as to what is considered a "long exposure" photograph?

>2 seconds? >5 seconds? >???

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Michael B. Stuart's picture

I'd say anything long enough to capture motion or light you otherwise could not see. 1/250th could be LE if the subject is moving fast enough. Just my opinion of course.

Cathleen Shea's picture

I agree with Michael.

And... Initially, upon seeing these great 20 minutes and up LE shots, I doubted my 30 second astrophotography images as LE, but it seems it depends on the goal of the image as to the "definition" of LE.

Thiago Brevidelli's picture

I don't know. I think this guys might be right and it depends on the context, but I guess when most people refer to long exposure they might be talking about something between 15 or 20 seconds up to 4 hour or whatever. I imagine you could go up to infinity, disregarding technical limitations and stuff.

Stephen Fretz's picture

Low light, camera on a tripod on "bulb." Or if autoexposure, >1 second or longer. Like porn, we know it when we see it.

There's no reciprocity in digital, and if you're using anything smaller than FF, no need to step down excessively for DOF, either.

My longest exposure was probably 15 minutes at F22 on Portra 400, using a 6x9 Mamiya Press in a dark part of the Jersey Meadowlands.