Hand Held Long Exposure Photo Art

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“You never know until you try” reverberated in my ears as I held as still as possible while taking a 15 second photograph of the coast of Kaua’i, Hawaii.  If you ask me if you should use a tripod I will answer yes 99.9% of the time.  Recently I have been reading a lot of books about artists, both painters and photographers, and it’s starting to sink in that the camera is a sort of paint brush.  A medium to express yourself, not just capture the world as we see it.  A way to create as opposed to recreate a scene.

It’s time to get creative!  Here is a challenge for you; go through your photos and find one you believe to be truly unique, never taken before… by anyone.  Not as easy as you might think.  The photograph above is one of the few photos of my own that I would put in to that classification.  Grab your camera and practice getting creative, break all the rules and most importantly… Have fun!

I have worked in the financial industry for 7 years and really enjoy it. Photography is my passion and outlet. I started PhotolisticLife to share what I've learned with others and create something positive and encouraging.

10 Comments

  • Reply March 3, 2013

    BeckyDeSantis

    Hi John, I have a couple night photos of Las Vegas that I took and they were hand held long exposure shots. I thought they were pretty but because they “broke the rules” I never shared them. Then I saw some enlarged photos on the wall of the Bottle Brush Art Gallery in Harmony and they were hand held long exposures that were done deliberately as were yours!! That’s what’s great about art – beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you just have to be brave enough to try new things. Thanks for sharing yours. I think I like the top one the best – the water and shore are sort of moody and the lights are like hundreds of people light painting!! Safe journeys home! Looking forward to seeing more photos from the Islands!

    • Reply March 4, 2013

      John Barbiaux

      @BeckyDeSantis Becky,
      Thank you.  I have seen photographs like this in art galleries as well and I always think to myself… “I could do that…”  So I thought I had better give it a try.  It was harder than I thought, there were a couple photographs I scrapped because they were either over blurred or not enough (not to mention getting the exposure correct so there was some color there too).  Anyways, I have a new respect for this type of photograph.  It was a blast breaking the rules though. 
       
      I can definitely see the hundreds of people light painting but originally I thought it looked like a volcano had erupted and that was the lava and sparks heading to sea, lol.

  • Reply March 3, 2013

    LizS

    John…I’m really glad to see photos like these. They’re terrific. I have lots photos from a fireworks display that were hand held long exposure shots some of which I have sent to you to see. I knew when I took them they would not be “perfect” shots of fireworks but I thought why not take the photos and see what I get. I was amazed at the results. When I posted them on Facebook I got a lot of “wow” comments. Where is Kauai were these photos taken? I would love to recreate them when we are in Hawaii this summer

  • Reply March 3, 2013

    LizS

    John…I’m really glad to see photos like these. They’re terrific! I have a lot of photos from a firework display that were hand held long exposure shots some of which I have sent to you to see. I knew when I took them they would not be ” perfect” shots of fireworks but I thought why not take the photos and see what I would get. I was amazed with the results. When I posted them on my Facebook page, I got a lot of “wow” comments. Where in Kauai were your photos taken? I would love to recreate similar shots when we visit the Hawaii Islands for two weeks this summer.

  • Reply March 3, 2013

    LizS

    John…I’m really glad to see photos like these. They’re terrific! I have a lot of photos from a fireworks display that were hand held long exposure shots some of which I have sent to you to see. I knew when I took them they would not be “perfect” shots of fireworks but I thought why not take the photos and see what I would get. I was amazed with the results. When I posted them on my Facebook page,I got a lot of “wow” comments. Where in Kauai were your photos taken? I would love to recreate similar shots when we visit the Hawaiian Islands for two weeks this summer! Thanks for sharing such good stuff!

    • Reply March 4, 2013

      John Barbiaux

      @LizS Hey Liz, sorry for the delay… I know what you mean, the “artistic” shots are not always accepted because they go against the main stream.  Ironically, getting that shot above was harder than if I had taken it “correctly”.  If you over blur the photograph it looks like a mistake and the same goes if you under blur it. 
       
      I was staying at the Grand Hyatt (not sure but I think it was the South side of the island) and the shot was actually taken from a trail that went along the shore towards the west looking back towards the hotel.  I can’t wait to see the shots you come up with.  Maybe we can collaborate for a photo journal and we can showcase a couple of your recreations next to the originals.  Safe Journeys!

      • March 5, 2013

        LizS

        @John Barbiaux  @LizS
         Thanks, John. I would really enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with you on a photo journal! That would be very exciting! We are staying at the Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach on the south shore. In addition to Kauai, we are also visiting Oahu, Maui and the Big Island Hawaii. We are leaving the end of July and will be back on August 10. I look forward to talking more with you about the possible photo/travel journal as we get closer to our trip. And I really look forward to seeing your photos as well – the blurs and the non-blurs! Travel safely!

      • March 5, 2013

        LizS

        @John Barbiaux
         Thanks, John. I would really enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with you on a photo journal! That would be very exciting! We will be staying at the Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach on the south shore. In addition to Kauai, we will also be visiting Oahu, Maui and the Big Island Hawaii. We are leaving the end of July and will be back on August 10. I look forward to talking more with you about the possible photo/travel journal as we get closer to our trip. And I really

      • March 5, 2013

        LizS

        @John Barbiaux
         
        Thanks, John. I would really enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with you on a photo journal! That would be very exciting!
         
        We will be staying at the Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach on the south shore. In addition to Kauai, we will also be visiting Oahu, Maui and the Big Island Hawaii. We are leaving the end of July and will be back on August 10. I look forward to talking more with you about the possible photo/travel journal as we get closer to our trip. And I really can’t wait to see your photos – the blurs and the non-blurs. Travel safely!

      • March 6, 2013

        LizS

        Thanks, John. I would really enjoy the opportunity to collaborate with you on a photo journal! That would be very exciting!
        We will be staying at the Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach on the south shore. In addition to Kauai, we will also be visiting Oahu, Maui and the Big Island Hawaii. We are leaving the end of July and will be back on August 10. I look forward to talking more with you about the possible photo/travel journal as we get closer to our trip. And I really can’t wait to see your photos – the blurs and the non-blurs. Travel safely!

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