Photography NCFE Level 1 Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

In this class we discussed long exposure and the effects it can have on the shot.

Generally the longest exposure that you can have is 30 seconds unless you move the shutter speed dial on to go to bulb.  In this mode you can control how long the shutter speed is by keeping your finger pressed down for the duration of the time you would like the shutter speed to be, when you release is when the duration is over.  My camera moves one on from this to Time which I am not sure at present what that means.

Obviously the longer the shutter speed time, the more light comes in to the camera, so you run the risk of being over exposed.  There are a few things you do to compensate for this.  Keep the ISO as low as you can, ideally 100 as we want the camera to give us the longest exposure in the light given.

You will also need a tripod or something to lean on, otherwise you will get camera shake.

With a longer shutter speed if you are out on a sunny day you most likely will have too much light coming in to compensate with a lower ISO and smaller F value.  You will need in this instance then a Neutral Density filter (ND) over the lens which you can alter to mimic the light that you need in order to achieve the desired results either way.

neutral density filter

neutral density filter

For most cameras you will need a step up ring in order to make the ND fit.

step up ring

step up ring


With very slow shutter speeds you can achieve various effects with your photographs.

Ie with water a slow shutter speed will make it look soft and misty, whereas faster you see more contrast.  You can create trails of light with a slower shutter speed which makes the car or moving object almost invisible, just showing the lights.  There is also zoom burst, ghost effect,  paint with light of which you can find articles here:  Slow Shutter Speed Effects

Remote Controls

We also practised using remote controls that we had bought which helps with lessening the camera shake.  You can take an instant shot or again hold and lock the button to have a longer shutter speed.


Our homework as you might guess was to play around with a longer shutter speed.  I actually went out today to take some long shutter speed photographs but stupidly forgot my step up ring.  Lesson learned to double check your packing.

I didn’t get to try as many effects as I would have liked to and there were many disaster shots, but if you have the time and the inclination to play around it’s great fun.  For me it’s more about having the time.

So even though with the below photographs I kind of ghost the ghostly image or blurred I didn’t use a particularly long exposure but kept them in for this principle and to show the effect.

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects


Trailing Lights

As taken from Digitalphotographyschool

At the most general level photographing light trails involves finding a spot where you’ll see the light trails created by cars, securing your digital camera, setting a long exposure setting on your camera and shooting at a time when cars will be going by to create the trail of light. Of course it’s a little more complicated than this – but the general factor behind it is longer exposures that will enable the car/s that create the trails to move through your image.

You will need a tripod, which I didn’t have and hence not the best, a bit shaky!

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects


(as taken from photographymad)

You don’t need any fancy equipment to get started with zoom bursts – just a DSLR with a zoom lens and an optional tripod.

Start by mounting your camera on your tripod. We’ll be using a long shutter speed so this will help keep the blurry lines straight. If you don’t have a tripod you can stand your camera on a wall or lean against a tree.

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

Select shutter priority mode and choose a shutter speed of around 1 to 4 seconds. Zoom fully in and focus on your subject. If your camera allows it, lock the focus and exposure at this point, so you know they’ll be correct when the subject is filling the frame.

Now zoom right out to the widest angle you want to capture. Press the shutter button and zoom in until the subject fills the frame again. Try to zoom as smoothly as possible, maintaining a constant speed throughout and finishing just before the end of your exposure.

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

So the 3rd photograph kind of worked.  I put in the first two even though I don’t think they turned out how they were ‘mean’t to but kinda interesting anyway don’t you think?


Instead of turning your lens’s zoom ring, hold it perfectly still and rotate the camera instead. This adds an eye-catching spiral effect to the zoom burst.

Well that is what is mean’t to happen, but didn’t really in this case, something to work on perhaps? lol

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

Ghost Effect Photography

Tadaa this one was actually a success, well I feel so.

2.4 So I focused in one the shot, had my remote control at hand.  I also had my shutter speed on time.  I asked both my husband and two children to sit on the sofa.  After focusing I put a cover infront of the lens and pressed the button to take the shot but kept it held on timer.  After two seconds i removed the cover, then back on and at the same time asked my youngest (far right) to get out of the shot, then I removed the cover after two seconds, put back on and asked my eldest to leave.  Then I put it back on and off for two seconds each.  It really did take quite a few attempts but showing the one that I think worked out best.  So you can see that the first person to leave is the ghostlier image, and so forth.

Photography Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

If you want to catch up with any of my other photography lessons and join in, in the comments section then please click here:  Photography Classes

Here’s hoping you are having a lovely weekend, Justine xx


  2 comments for “Photography NCFE Level 1 Class 8, Long Exposure & Effects

  1. March 27, 2017 at 3:23 PM

    Great blog Justine.

    Liked by 1 person

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