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Long Exposure PhotographyJohn Miskelly

On last Friday evening club member John Miskelly delivered a fascinating and detailed narrative on the subject of long exposure photography .

John is a professional fine art and landscape photographer .an educator delivering talks and leads workshops both at home and in many other countries from Scandinavia and Iceland to more clement southern locations. John can be contacted at

John commenced by posing the question what defined long exposure photography. The best description said John is a long shutter speed to capture stationary elements in find detail and to blur moving elements typical the sky in landscape photography. This is setting exposure times of anything from two seconds to eight minutes or more .

John then outlined what is the essential equipment necessary for this genre of photography:

  • A sturdy tripod with a ball head

  • Graduated filters used to darken skies to balance the exposure typically an six or ten stop filter.

  • Black glass six , ten and fifteen stop filters .

To give an example a fifteen stop filter will alter an exposure time of a 1/60th of a second to give a time of eight minutes.

John then went on to show examples of his defining work where patience waiting for the light to be just right and at times returning another day to get a good image.

John prefers to achieve results within the camera and so avoid lengthly sessions in post production on a computer John prefers square format images and will shoot in portrait mode and crop the image .

John related an event in Scotland on the island of Sky where he was perched on a rock with the tide shortly to encircle him and noticed there was twenty other photographers being him laughing and hoping to get a picture of him being engulfed by the waves. However he was able to get back to safer and higher ground to see the other photographers drenched by the incoming tide and thus he had the last laugh .

John visits the the most remote and desolate locations of the planet to capture beautiful elegant images and to achieve a minimalist artistic look . Below you can see the transition from a basic shot to the long exposure version.

Santissimo Redentore in Venice

In conclusion John declared that he lives life to the full in pursuit of this personal vision which never fails to delight all who enjoy his work .

Many thanks to John for his instructive and at times humorous accounts of his adventures

Next week - Audrey Argue Nature Competition

Edward McCavana - BNDCC Information Officer .

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