Take it slow
Manipulating time isn’t just the province of Doctor Who – Tom Mackie shows how you, too, can be a time lord with his tips on long exposures. TARDIS not required
We all love the effect of a slow shutter speed. Tom Mackie reveals the speeds to use for everything from waterfalls and waves to auroras
Playing with time might seem the stuff of science fiction, but for landscape photographers it’s a fantastic way of capturing a different take on the way our eyes see a scene. By controlling time you influence emotions. It’s quite easy to freeze time, but it’s more of a challenge to manipulate time by slowing it down. Using slower shutter speeds can transform a scene to express action, drama, wonder or solitude. How do we decide what shutter speed to use for a specific desired effect? Here, we’ll take a look at four different time segments and see how we can use each to create a different effect and feeling. We will be working with shutter speeds from 1/30th of a second up to four minutes. Each one of these time segments, when used correctly, can produce completely different results. The relatively short exposures show energy and motion, then as we slow time down the results become much more calm and tranquil.
All it takes is a tripod, a cable release, an ND filter or two, and my essential guide to the effects you can get when you play with longer exposures.