This is a guest post written by Alexandru Ivan, a graphic designer based in Romania, HTC customer, and a member of HTC elevate. You might remember the remarkable high-speed photos he took with the HTC One or recognize his HTC One (M8) wallpaper. Now, Alex is back and this time, sharing one of his favorite mobile photography tricks.
If you’re looking to give your pictures an elegant, artistic touch, try long-exposure photography. Long-exposure photography involves using long-duration shutter speed to capture objects normally while blurring or smearing any moving objects. An example would be a city street in which the buildings remain normal in the picture, but the fast-moving cars whir by in streaks of color. Here are the tips and tricks I use to capture long-exposure photographs using my HTC One (M8).
A few tips before getting started
Using a tripod is crucial. Otherwise, you will end up with pictures where every object is completely blurred because of the low shutter speed used. You can improvise if you don’t have a tripod, but whatever is used must keep the phone still. Try also not to tap the screen too hard when taking the picture—the vibration from touching the screen to take the picture can ruin an otherwise perfect long-exposure shot.
Launch the Camera app on your M8 and use “Manual Mode” – long-exposure photos can only be shot using this mode. Trying HDR Mode during daytime won’t ensure a nice picture either.
In Manual Mode, you can adjust a lot of things. For example, I prefer to adjust the white balance (WB) after I take my pictures. I do this in Edit Mode because it can be tricky to adjust while taking the pictures.
It’s also important to note that ISO and shutter speed settings are dependent on each other. Basically, when the shutter speed value increases, the ISO should go decreases. For shooting in complete darkness, you may use a shutter speed higher than 2 and ISO higher than 800. That’s because you can’t adjust the aperture for the camera sensor and photos may need some editing afterward to edit out some light noise in the pictures. Inbuild filters and settings from the HTC One (M8) can retouch this.
If you’re looking for somewhere to test long-exposure photography, try landscapes. For instance, roads, highways, and cityscapes are ideal. Try to avoid pictures with too many light sources like street lamps. If you’re interested in a traffic shot, it’s better to shoot onward for the light trails. Headlights, though, could be too bright for your camera settings. In terms of time, the best for shooting long-exposure photographs is between evening and morning.
What makes long exposure images special is that each image is unique and surreal. With practice you should have a collection of photos that are one of a kind.
Have you created any long-exposure photographs using your HTC? Share them with us in the comments below!