Have you ever seen those photos with the abstract light patterns that almost look like computer generated? Well, its not. Photographers can pull off a pretty sweet effect when they lower the shutter speed on the camera. Let me explain what exactly shutter speed is, its how long your sensor (which picks up the light for the image) is exposed to the light surrounding. Now when you leave the sensor exposed for quite a long time, any light that moves in the picture will all be captured in one picture. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
Notice the light lines that were produced? The one on top was created with me running around with colored lights that changed with time. The one on the bottom was done with just an iPhone LED. What the camera did was capture all the light while I was moving around and it made the illusion that there is a flying light going around these figurines. Shutter speed is usually measures in split seconds but some cameras can go all the way up to a couple minutes of exposure time which leads me to my next trick with long exposure cameras.
Imagine the amount of stars you would see if you walked outside at night. With a slow shutter speed, the sensor on a camera can pick up almost double what the visible eye can see. With these pictures I used anywhere from a 15 second exposure all the way up to 2 minutes.
One last thing to remember about using slow shutter speeds is that it is necessary to have a tri-pod or your final image will turn out shaky or blurry and it won’t look good.
Here are some more examples of some slow shutter speed pitcures: