What is Daytime Long Exposure Photography?
Daytime long exposure photography is a technique used to capture movement in a still image, for example, the movement of the clouds in the sky or the waves in the sea, adding that extra dimension to a scene. A good example of this can be seen in the photo of 'Hadleigh Castle' in the 'Long Exposure' gallery in my portfolio.
This technique can also be used to create minimal and surreal images with striking effect. This is achieved when the continued movement in the shot can almost erase parts of the scene or reduce it to a fine mist. Check out the photographs of 'Mousehole Sea Defence' and 'Burnham-on-sea Lighthouse' also in the 'Long Exposure' gallery for good examples of this.
The long exposure technique is made possible by using filters that attach to the lens of your camera. These filters have the effect of slowing down the lens. This means that you can keep the shutter open for much longer than you normally would in the bright light of the day, sometimes for as long as 8-10 minutes.
The filters are known as 'Neutral Density' filters and for want of a better description are like a pair of sunglasses for your camera. They are basically a piece of darkened glass or plastic that fits over the lens and reduces the amount of light that can enter the lens and in turn, hit the sensor. This means that when you keep the shutter open for long periods of time, the image doesn't become 'blown out'. If you took a photograph in the middle of the day without a filter on the lens, and kept the shutter open for say 6 minutes, all you would have is a perfectly white rectangle instead of a picture.