The Art of The Long Exposure

by William Lulow

I used to make long exposures using the double-exposure method with film. I would go out before sunset, make an exposure to capture the outlines of the buildings. Then, I would wait until dark when all the lights in the buildings would come on, and make a second exposure. This method would yield an image showing the detail in all the buildings with all the lights on.

These days, with the digital platform, we cannot make double exposures. Most effects like the one above, are executed in Photoshop by combining two or more images. Another way to get a similar effect is to wait until just before sunset and make a long exposure. The image below was made at dusk. The exposure was ISO 100, f/11 at 20 seconds. The camera was mounted on a sturdy tripod.