Photography has many striking effects, but perhaps none is quite as arresting as long exposure. Many photographic artists have created jaw-dropping epic images using extremely long exposure times. Each with their own unique subject matter, here are some of the finest examples of long exposure images.
Robert Knight’s Sleepless Nights
Artist Robert Knight’s haunting long exposure photography project, Sleepless, was conceived during his own bout of insomnia following the birth of his children. The visual representation of people’s sleep movements found in Knight’s images creates a spectral trace of their rest and restlessness, their slumber, stirrings, dreaming and waking. Exposure times are approximately seven hours. Perhaps what makes Knight’s long exposure photography so intriguing is that it features the human figure at a time when we are usually unconscious and out of sight.
Chris Kotsiopoulos Captures 24 Hours in 360 Degrees
This magnificent panoramic shot of a rural vista in Sounio, Greece required 30 hours of preparation and dedication from photographer Chris Kotsiopoloulos to achieve with his Canon 550D DSLR. In a single image, 24 hours of daylight and night time are compressed into one dazzling 360 degree photograph. Kotsiopoulos returned home with hundreds of pictures, which he pieced together using photo editing software, creating a breathtaking example of long exposure photography: an entire day in full circle.
Justin Quinnell’s Spectral Clifton Suspension Bridge
Brunel’s majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge over the Avon Gorge is a stirring sight in itself, but Justin Quinnell’s long exposure photograph gives it a nimbus of emerald arcs which possess an uncanny beauty. Taken using a homemade pin-hole camera fashioned from an empty can of drink with a 0.25mm aperture placed before one sheet of photographic paper, the picture took six months to achieve. Incredibly, Quinnell’s father died half way through the process and the photographer can identify the exact position of the sun when his father passed away during the exposure.
Michael Wesely’s Epic Exposure of the Reconstruction of the MoMA
The great photographer Michael Wesely was invited to capture the reconstruction of the Museum of Modern Art between 2001 and 2004. The results were these simply magnificent photographs caught using 8 cameras strategically set up to expose for 34 months. Eerie and ethereal, they catch a prominent landmark being built, creation in flux, giving a haunting ghost-like aesthetic to what is usually a concrete construction. Mesmerising, Wesely asserted he could expose for up to 40 years. If only he could have travelled back in time to the building of the pyramids.