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40 Stunning Examples of Long Exposure Photographs

August 18, 2014 by Jon Phillips

There is something magical about long exposure photography – allowing your camera to capture light and details for a longer period of time can create some stunning photographs. From traffic lights and light painting to smoky water and star trails, or even photographing the Milky Way – the possibilities are endless.

Equipped with a sturdy tripod and a good knowledge of how light travels you can create your own long exposure photos. While it certainly takes time and a lot of practice to master fully, long exposure photography is a great way to learn more about light and widen your creativity.

Today we have 40 great examples of long exposure photographs. Some of those images have a shutter speed as short as 2 seconds while others are over 30 minutes long. Hopefully some of those images will inspire you to give long exposure photography a shot!

Stars

Stars
photo by John Fowler

As the windmills and the heavens turn

As the windmills and the heavens turn
photo by @sage_solar

Sunrise at Swine’s Den

Sunrise at Swine's Den
photo by Jonathan Combe

MV Ever Transport III

MV Ever Transport III
photo by Harald Kobler

Orb spining

Orb spining
photo by Disco-Dan

Celestial Mooring

Celestial Mooring
photo by jason jenkins

Trace of a Northern Light

Trace of a Northern Light
photo by Timo Horstschäfer

A Thousand Suns Wouldn’t Shine as Bright

A Thousand Suns Wouldn't Shine as Bright
photo by jason jenkins

Cause and effect

Cause and effect
photo by Kenny Louie

Double Arch and Milky Way

Double Arch and Milky Way
photo by John Fowler

Experimenting with long exposure

Experimenting with long exposure
photo by Paul Stocker

The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse
photo by Jonathan Combe

Night Stars Milky Way

Night Stars Milky Way
photo by alfa.83

Lily Lighting

Lily Lighting
photo by Andrew Nourse

Long exposure of a Ferris Wheel from Luna Park

Long exposure of a Ferris Wheel from Luna Park
photo by matthewwu88

Hogeweidebrug Utrecht

Hogeweidebrug Utrecht
photo by Marcel030NL

Long Exposure Waves

Long Exposure Waves
photo by Tim Sackton

Long exposure of the surf coming in near Poipu, Kauai

Long exposure of the surf coming in near Poipu, Kauai
photo by Frank Kovalchek

Tyne Bridge – Long exposure

Tyne Bridge - Long exposure
photo by steve r watson

Long Exposure in Yurikamome (Daiba, Tokyo, Japan)

Long Exposure in Yurikamome
photo by t-mizo

Long exposure Seascape

Long exposure Seascape
photo by Darren Shilson

Glow in the Dark

Glow in the Dark
photo by Jon Phillips

Pillars

Pillars
photo by Thomas Leth-Olsen

Dromana Pier

Dromana Pier
photo by Scott Cresswell

Knightsbridge, London

Knightsbridge, London
photo by Nikos Koutoulas

IMG_0032

IMG_0032
photo by illum

Campfire Blackhole

Campfire Blackhole
photo by Aaron Wagner

Sunset Pier

Sunset Pier
photo by Samuel Sharpe

Weather Maker

Weather Maker
photo by Ian Sane

Sunshine

Sunshine
photo by Luke Detwiler

The Hollow Line – Light Graffiti

The Hollow Line - Light Graffiti
photo by Rob Walker

Milf Powers

Milf Powers
photo by darkday

Spring Runoff

Spring Runoff
photo by Ian Sane

Twist in the Road

Twist in the Road
photo by Yogendra Joshi

Light Graffiti – Goku

Light Graffiti - Goku
photo by Rob Walker

Inexact Time

Inexact Time
photo by Dan DeChiaro

The Boles

The Boles
photo by Jordi nll

The Green Wheel at Roskilde Festival 2009

The Green Wheel at Roskilde Festival 2009
photo by Stig Nygaard

Oversum Winterberg light explosion

Oversum Winterberg light explosion
photo by Thomas Wensing

Guardian

Guardian
photo by Paško Tomić

I hope you enjoyed this post and that the photos we included sparked some ideas. Please feel free to share your own long exposure photographs with us by leaving a comment below.

Jon Phillips

About the author: Jon Phillips

Jon is the founder and creator of Contrastly Photography Magazine. While he's a user interface and web designer by trade, as far back as he can remember he's always had a love for photography and interesting visuals. He would love it if you followed him on Twitter or Google+.

  • http://click.lovelldsouza.com/ Lovell D’souza

    Damn nice inspiring collection of photos!

    • http://contrastly.com/ Contrastly

      Thank you! Glad you liked it :)

  • Ilona Bart

    Wonderful collection!