Friday, 14 January 2011

Taking it slowly - the art of long exposure photography

Paul Sansome

Senior tutor Paul Sansome has recently been commended in the Landscape Photographer of the Year Award. In fact his photo of the lighthouse at Corbiere, Jersey was selected by the Sunday Times for its double page spread.

For this atmospheric photograph of the lighthouse at Corbiere in Jersey, he knew the image he wanted to capture and he went down to the rocks every day, waiting for the right elements.

“The sky was grey and the sea was flat every day until the last evening, the waves came. I took the photograph as night settled in – at night with the waves crashing on the rocks; it shows why the lighthouse is there.”

Paul describes his technique: “It was taken with a long exposure – 15 seconds which enables one to record the movement taking place while the shutter is open. The waves in motion become almost ethereal. The key was that the lighthouse and rocks were static – this instills a proper sense of reality. This will only work with the camera on a tripod as it is quite impossible to hold a camera still for 15 seconds.”

“I like long exposure photography, because it is creative rather than a record. It’s unpredictable – you don’t know what the result will be. You are taking a photograph of something you can’t see with the naked eye. If I had taken it with a 5 second exposure it would have been a different result.”

“In Venice we will use the same technique of long exposure photography, as we will be taking photographs in low light after dark,” says Paul. “When you photograph gondolas bobbing on the water using long exposure, the gondolas become blurred and unreal while the buildings and posts, lend solidity.”

Landscapes of southern Tuscany – week-long photographic holiday 14 Mar 2011

Venice by moonlight – 4 night photographic holiday 17 November 2011

After last year’s very special trip to the south of the island, Paul will be returning to Iceland in August, this time to the north-west coast where the subject matter includes waterfalls, geysers, mud pools, volcanic plains, snow topped volcanoes, black sandy beaches and cliff tops with nesting colonies of puffins, skua and Arctic tern seabirds.

See our website for full details of our Photography Holiday in Iceland