Long Exposures Redux

by William Lulow

Here’s another neat little exercise to practice. I wanted to shoot Times Square but just at dusk, before the sun actually set and the sky was black. I went down there on a late fall evening and began shooting while it was still light. As the light was fading, I wanted to make an image that would convey all the color and the lights, keep everything as sharp as possible and still have the shapes of the buildings. I used to do this with double or multiple exposure with a view camera, but I decided to shoot it with my Canon DSLR this time.

As I continued shooting, I tried several combinations of aperture and shutter speed. My camera was on a sturdy tripod and I finally made this shot. It was shot at f/22 with a full one-second exposure. The ISO was 100 as well because I wanted to make a large print of the shot. I composed the shot so that most of the people passing by would be blurred out, in the darkness or both.

 TimesSquare_0038(8x11)WEB

As I have mentioned previously, when photographing changing neon lights, you have to play around with exposure a bit because the lights are always changing. Sometimes they are brighter than other times. But you need to search for a good mix. One thing I love about this shot…the Kodak sign!