The art of the long exposure

Last few days I have done more of the research work than actually spending time on the exercises. My tutor had motioned to me quite some time back to look at Michael Kenna’s work. To be very frank at that time I found the images interesting but not intriguing. Reason was I had not understood the depth of the work and the passion put in to it. Now that I have read through his interviews and method of capturing the fantastic landscapes, I felt I was so wrong. What Kenna captures is not just image, but he captures the nature in a very artistic way. I have never tried such long exposure. I still fail to understand how come 10 hours (or more) long exposures don’t make his images completely washed out.

Kenna’s photography focuses on unusual landscapes with ethereal light achieved by photographing at dawn or at night with exposures of up to 10 hours [courtesy Wikipedia: for more click on the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Kenna_(photographer)].

You get to know much more through the interview section on his website: http://www.michaelkenna.net/interviews.php

While I was going through Michael Kenna’s work, I came across another photographer who uses long exposures to capture the seascapes. Though the work of both the artist is very different there is a strange similarity. Of course Michael Levin is not as popular as Michael Kenna but he surely has some magic in his images that makes me go through them again and again. You can have a look at his work on his official website http://www.michaellevin.ca. If you see the videos on Levin’s websites it is clear that unlike the night style images of Kenn, Levin shoots when there is some light present in the sky. Hence, I assume his exposures will not be as long as Kenna. Now that makes me curious about their selection on exposure timings. Is it only because they shoot in a different light conditions or is there something to do with the advancement of technology?

After seeing the work of these two artists, I am feeling highly inspired. It is evident that along with the technical skills, one also needs to develop patience and dedication to reach anywhere close to what these artists have achieved. I admire their capability of filtering the colour out and imagining the scene in B & W. A skill I am still working on.

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2 thoughts on “The art of the long exposure

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