ChromaticSoul :: The Blog

Mastering the Five-Second Exposure

Posted on: 21 February 2009

Okay, relax, take a deep breath, and read carefully: This isn’t really a rule. It’s more like a fun formula. Exposures of about 5 seconds (that means 4 to 8, give or take a few) put you in a zone of unique effects. Crowds turn into swirling abstracts, night-time traffic stretches out in neon ribbons, and moving water turns to mysterious ground-hugging mist.

What’s so special about 5 seconds? Shorter, fractional exposures such as 1/8 sec can be annoyingly blurred. In longer exposures (a minute or more), moving subjects can disappear outright, and skies turn a bland, pale blue.

The beauty of the 5-sec rule is that it’s simple to follow with just about any camera, other than the most basic. Here’s how to optimize your images. [via PopPhoto]

Read the rest of the story to learn the technique.


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  • thebail: Reblogged this on Underwater Ap
  • Veronica Lynne: Did you use it? It's RODEO time! That might make a good pic for the fb page to.
  • Veronica Lynne: Certainly. I am flattered. Just give credit--ChromaticSoul Photos. Also, I would love to see how you use it. The rodei is this weekend! Veronica Lynn
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