Shooting Challenge: 38 Illuminating Long Exposures…Vote For Your Favourite

Shooting Challenge: 38 Illuminating Long Exposures…Vote For Your Favourite

Hope you guys can think fast, because this week’s Shooting Challenge entries are coming at you. There are some amazing photos in this bunch, so start voting for your favourite photographer! They might just win an Ultrabook!Image

For five weeks, Gizmodo readers (and the friends they convince to vote for them) are voting one weekly Shooting Challenge finalist through to the prize round to be judged and announced by Gizmodo editors on Wednesday, June 27.

Note: In the interests of fairness, voting has been restricted to one per user; based on cookie and IP.
Voting closes at 10am on Tuesday, June 12.


Ultrabooks are a new category of mobile PC that pack speedy Intel Core processors and a lightweight design — ideal for photographers looking for an editing studio, storage drive and entertainment hub on the go.

We’re excited to be giving away one Dell XPS 13 (valued at $1199) to participating Gizmodo readers. The Core i5 13.3-incher has edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass and is just 6mm at its thinnest point.

Finalists: Giz also has remote-controlled indoor airships (measuring 1.27m long) for each of the four other finalists who don’t win the major prize. The Turbo Blimp is valued at $200. Full comp details and T&Cs here.

Last Week’s Most Voted Photo – Finalist 2 Of 5

Suitably for an engine theme, it was a much tighter race last week — but there can only be one. The winner with 14.5% of the total vote is…
Stuart Addelsee !

Stuart’s awesome ‘Engine’ shot joins Larry Chew’s ‘Speed’ image in the final. But they’ll face tough competition from these stunning long exposure shots. You can’t vote for them below now that they’re finalists — but you can certainly show your love in the comments.


This Week’s Entries

Click on images to zoom into gallery mode, and don’t forget to scroll down to vote.


Oliver Taber

Shot is a composition of two shots taken with a tripod.
Base shot is long exposure of traffic – ISO 100, 135mm, f22, 15 seconds.
Second shot was taken in exactly the same spot bit with flash to freeze the subject – iso 640, f2,.8, 1/60th.
I saw the ‘long exposure’ theme and decided a flasher was a great pun 🙂

Steve Moylan

This photo was taken a couple of nights ago, while I was on a camp in Nanga, Western Australia. I saw the competition page about a week ago, and I really wanted to think of something interesting and new, something no one would think of doing, but I really didnt know what I would do. I thought of taking some long exposures looking up at the moon through the trees, but then it was too cold and whimped out at it haha, then me and a few mates were around the fire, and one of them pulled out this cool laser pointer that had a few patterns on it, with multiple beams. When he aimed it through the smoke, it looked Awesome! So I took this photo of my other mate holding the ball, in some smoke from the fire, while the other held the laser pointer. It is 0.4 seconds ( I know its not long long exposure but I am pretty sure it counts) on my NEX-5N. It is actually also with my super cheap lens I got off eBay, Pentacon 50mm f1.8. $20! you would be so surprised at the awesome photos I am getting with it. I took it at iso 3200, and pretty sure it was wide open.
Anyway, Hope you like it! Im really happy with how it turned out!

Elissa Simone Long

Title: Pac-To-Reality
Collecting Pac-dots is no easy task…
Definitely the longest shoot to date, after about 20 attempts at getting the right shapes and lighting with light painting, and very little photoshop!
Canon Mkii – F13 – 30sec – ISO100

Larry Chew

Too Hot to Trot.
Thought I’d have a little bit of fun this week and set my camera on fire 😛 not in reality of course. I held a torch light and dangled a piece of string under it. By shaking the string under the beam of light from the flash light I was able to recreate a flame like effect. The camera was painted with another torch light which had a white light.
Canon 5dmkII
Apeture: F16
Shutter: 13Secs
ISO: 100
Focal Length: 40mm

MJoe Lim

Hi 1st thanks Gizmodo for the theme. I have been planning to try this out but never had the chance. I know some people had try this before but this is my 1st attempt and gosh it was fun!!!!!
Location : Mindil beach, Darwin, NT 6.50pm
Ok about the equipment:
Nikon D5000, 10-24mm wide angle lens, wireless shutter trigger, tripod, steel wool “000”grade (got them from Bunnings Warehouse for $7.14), egg mixer, tripod, a hat, gloves, and eye protection, fire extinguisher.
Camera Setting:
Manual mode, ISO400, aperture f8, focal length 24mm (i dun wan my camera to be on fire), shutter speed to ‘Bulb’, single shooting
There’s nothing much to change about the photo, apart from minor dust removal, and contrast adjustment which are done in Photoshop CS5
I got this idea long time ago from the magazine and i did some research into how to do it. Basically some ppl called it steel wool photography but it suits the theme for this week so well.
I went to Mindil Beach, Darwin to take the shoot. I didn attract some attention especially the police that happens to be there. They where wondering whether i am up to no good. I told them my intention and tell them that i have all the safety precautions. They were not that convince, so i show them my picture and wow they like it as well. They stood there until i finish my work awesome!!! free security!!!!
Steel wool long exposure photography is fun…….planning to do it somewhere else 😛

Stuart Addelsee

Canon EOS 7D – Sigma 10-20mm
360 Sec | f/5.6 | ISO 100 | 10mm
It was a rainy weekend so I had to be creative inside this week. A single exposure with a combination of selective fill flash and some light stencils I had.
Stuart –

Nicholas Tuck

The break in the rain last night with the full moon was perfect for setting up this long exposure, I had help from a friend who held the remote for the bulb shot (the IR lock was broken) while I ran around furiously blasting flash shots here and there , Good fun if not a bit cold !

Gareth Forwood

When we truly observe an event, beauty becomes evident in even the simplest of things. A two-second exposure of a moment so fleeting, that we often miss it.

Christopher Hughes

100 ISO
10 MM
1 Second Exposure
F 9.0
Canon 550D W/ Tamron 10-44mm
Was at vivid 🙂 like every other photographer, Hoped I would be different in taking something a little longer exposure.

Jay Daley

The time traveller…
This is the time travel station I’ve been meaning to try and photograph for a while now. At this station, with the right ticket, one can watch a clock speed past them whilst the world slows down.
It took a while to work out how to blur the clock over a 25min long exposure.
Nikon D4, Nikon 24-70 f2.8
2.5sec for the main image
25min for the clock
f13, ISO 160

Rory OBrien

I have been playing with full moon light painting and have a favourite spot down on the cliffs at Little Bay in Sydney. I love the beauty and quiet of clear full moon nights where colours are clearly visible – keep your camera open long enough and the night sky turns blue! This one is shot under Monday’s lunar eclipse – the orb (made by swinging christmas lights in a circle) mimics the moon against the blurred ocean waves.
Equipment: Camera, tripod, remote release, christmas lights
Camera: Canon 550D
Lens: Tamron 18-250
ISO: 200
Aperture: f4.0
Shutter: 30 Seconds

Brad Saegenschnitter

Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L USM Lens, tripod, Canon RS-80N3 Remote Shutter, Homemade LED light orb tool consisting of tri-colour LED with variable colours via three potentiometers.
f/4, 152 second exposure time, ISO-250, focal length 58mm
To create my photograph, I used a homemade LED light source which contained a single 5mm tri-colour LED attached to a wire and then a box containing the battery supply and the potentiometers. I set my Canon 5D Mk II up on the tripod and faced it towards the tree and focused (with the aid of a torch) till I got a crisp appearance on the tree. I selected a low aperture value of 4 as the moon was bright enough to supply enough light and then adjusted the ISO to 250. I then began the exposure via the remote shutter then quickly walked over to my position and created my first orb by swinging it around in a circular motion, whilst walking in a small circle. I then adjusted the colour of the LED with the potentiometers and created the second orb. I then walked to my camera and released the shutter release which resulted in a crisp, correctly exposed photograph of a bizarre looking, natural tree in my Grandparents property with the colourful, supernatural orbs. Only minor digital manipulation was used via Adobe Photo Shop CS4 to crop the image and convert the file from RAW to JPEG format, no additional enhancement or editing was required.
After several attempts on Saturday night at a successful photograph shoot, the cloud coverage finally reduced to a minimum. I could then create my orbs with my homemade LED light source, by spinning this around, and then I left the shutter open to allow the background to illuminate. After taking a couple photographs, the fog began to settle in and gave some of my other photographs a misty looking appearance, which looked rather cool, but I wasn’t happy with the results.

Simon Chiu

This photo was taken at Sydney’s Vivid Festival of Light, wanting to capture the iconic Opera House, the light projection and the ferries scurrying past as streaks of light.
I really should have brought along a tripod tonight, but managed to rest the Canon 60D with EFS 18-55mm lens on a ledge at the top of the new MCA rooftop bar.
On Shutter Priority mode, the ISO was dialed down to 100 to reduce noise while the shutter speed was maxed out to 30 seconds. A 2 second delay was also preset so upon pressing shoot, camera shake was minimised. No photoshop after effects was used.

Igor Neumann

Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M5
Lens: 12-50mm Zuiko
Settings: ISO 200 f/9 15s 12mm
Tonight the moon was at its fullest… an unique event when it rises with the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
I have been planning this shot for a while, trying to find the right combination of weather, moon phase, moonrise time, azimuth and Gizmodo Challenge 😉

Georgina Luczi

Olympus E-PL3
Lens: 14.0-42.0 mm, f/3.5-5.6
ISO: 200, Aperture: F/22, Shutter: 2.5
The fiery heart made with sparklers. My partner helped me by drawing the heart in the air, during this long exposure shot. What a passionate love!!!

Brent Clark

Canon EOS 600D. 30-second exposure, manual focus. Changed the blue colour balance in Photoshop to make it a bit darker.
“Times Square” in Suzhou, China. Set up a tripod in the middle of an intersection for a few traffic light changes. No cars ran into each other.

Anoop Rachamadugu

It’s been raining cats and dogs in Brisbane and it washed away most of my ideas for long exposure shots. After a long wasteful day/night, I finally decided to go back to my favorite spot and take my favorite shot 🙂
Taken with my 1100d, 18-55mm (standard lens), Exposure of 15 seconds to get the reflection of the colors on water.

Matt Walden

I saw this challenge when I couldn’t sleep, and it hit me as I was dosing off, “Too Much Coffee!” I’m pretty happy with the outcome… Shot with:
Canon 600D with 18-55mm kit lens
5 second exposure
ISO 100


Rachel Gray

This photo was taken late at night with my sister and it was something fun that we wanted to do but had never tried before. After experimenting with various words and shapes using both candles and sparklers we decided that this looked the most effective. The camera used was a Canon Eos 1100D with the shutter speed set to take 8 seconds.

Cristian San Emeterio

My sister from Argentina love the little water falls, I promise her a picture from Blue Mountains where I was on friday. Now is not necesary send her an email, just this link from Gizmodo, and I can be famous 🙂
Sony DSC-HX1 (no reflex), exposure Time: 1/8, ISO: Auto (125), F/8

Mashuqur Rahman

For this week’s shooting challenge, I drove to Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to take a long exposure picture of star trails. However, on the drive there it occurred to me that we had a full moon and my plan was not going to work. So I decided to shoot the full moon above Skyline Drive instead.
I took this picture with my Nikon D90 at ISO 200, f/5.6, 18mm using a Nikon 18-200mm lens. The camera was on a tripod and I exposed the shot for 104 seconds.

Rory McKay

I took this photo last night with my friend Bec, we were at the abandoned brick works in Bulli playing with some solar LEDs we found in my garden. A great evening of exploring and light painting, if not a touch spooky.
We had the camera on a tripod and the shutter at 30 seconds, f5.6. Bec stood still while I traced her with the slowly changing light.

Dave Read

Few people are aware of this, but growing deep within some of the most remote parts of the African desert, is a rare, grassy weed that glows in the night called Afrethius Grasssius Glowius, or otherwise known as African Glowgrass. What I have attempted here with this photo is a scientific dramatisation of this rare spectacle of nature, using just a cheap sparkler from coles, a handfull of random shit from my desk, and the power of long exposure.

Thomas Barber

This image was shot on a Nikon D80 over 26 x 30 second exposures. Many more frames were shot, however plane trails managed to make it into many of my shots and they were removed. There were also a bunch of other exposures ruined by lens fog on a chilly Brisbane night. The images were stacked in StarStaX and levels adjusted in Lightroom.

James Peachey

I took this photo on my Olympus E-520 on the 2/6/2012 down in Lane Cove industrial area. It was around 9:00 at night and I wanted to create a person sitting on a bench in light, after many unsuccessful attempts I finally got the proportions right and came up with this! I set the camera on a tripod, set the shutter speed to 20 seconds clicked the shutter, ran in the photo and began to draw.
Camera: Olympus E-520
Shutter Speed: 20 seconds
ISO: 100
F Stop: 13

Joel Kong

Camera: Canon EOS 600D
Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
ISO: 6400
Shutter Speed: 32.0 sec
F-Stop: f/20
During a walk at night, I spotted two ‘light’ friends throwing a ‘light’ ball to each other. I told them to keep trying….
This final shot took many attempts to get right, running out from behind the tripod with a torch, not shining it directly at the camera. I had to dodge a few cars, and weird looks. It must have looked like I was doing some ‘contemporary’ dance in the middle of the road.

David Johnson

Dark Dawn
I was in Port Macquarie Visiting relatives wondering if the weather was going to clear at all so I could enter this weeks challenge wnd decided to chance a dawn shoot despite the rain and incoming weather.
I was lucky I chanced it and made this shot the weather then closed it and there was only rain and grey afterwards…..
Camera :Canon 600D
Lens :Sigma 10-20 @ 20mm
Time: 90sec
Apperture :f22

Jeffrey Truong

22minute exposure (stacking used), 400iso, 14mm 35mm equiv. @ f3.5 on an Olympus e-p3 body on a tripod on a 5 degree winter night.
On a cold night me and my friends decided to go hiking, we were going to go out four weeks ago but we ran into some trouble and we eventually decided to go out on this particular winter night. The moon halo wouldn’t have been there had it not been so cold. The hike was enjoyable never the less.
I’ve used a stacking technique which makes the star trails appear taper behind the star which i like personally, make the image “move”.

Lena Buchanan

This photo was taken with a friend at the dunlop warehouse in Alexandria. This was one of my first attempts at light drawing on a long exposure. My friend helped teach me how to set the camera settings the best way for a long exposure. I used a Canon 550d, the exposure time was set to 30 seconds and the Fstop was 4. The iso was set to AUTO but i believe it was either 1600 or 3200.
To begin the shot, as soon as the shutter opened I shined a purple light at certain areas to make it come up purple (it was actually a white LED light with purple cellophane on it). I put a light (kind of like a mini lightsaber) on a piece of string and started spinning it. As i was walking back i was wrapping the string more and more around my finger and it got shorter, this is what gave it the spiral effect. I used a tripod and a Canon 18-55 lena (the one that comes with the camera).

Isabelle Milevoj

This was one of my first attempts at taking a Long Exposure shot. After searching the house for possible lights I came across my ‘One Direction Concert Light’. I switched it onto a gradient colour setting and played at shapes. This photo was taken using my FujiFilm Finepix S2950 with an aperture setting of F6.4.

Thomas Jilek

As we strive to extend our understanding about the universe, we struggle to comprehend the sheer amount that we have yet to find. My photograph attempts to remind the individual just how far we are from uncovering the most external communities.
– Canon 600d
– Canon 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
– Tripod
Multiple six second exposure at f/3.5 over ~30 minutes. ISO 800. 10mm. Stacked together in StarStaX and minor adjustments made in Lightroom 4.

Tracy Miller

I wanted to give a new view of how to look up at the trees. I shot this with my Canon T3i with an ISO of 200, f-22 and 1/13 sec.

Nick Albon

Panasonic Lumix FZ-150
30 Sec shutter speed
200 ISO
Using a low watt LED light, I drew this dinosaur. Raw!

Ripley Newbold

Camera: Canon 600D
Lens: 18-55mm kit lens
ISO: 400
Aperture: 8.0
Shutter: 30 seconds
I was wondering the shore line near where I live, and I headed to a nearby jetty. However, after photographing that jetty more times than I can count I decided to go half way along and just look to the right.

Matt Holliday

I had a bit of a hard time thinking about what i was going to do for this challenge. Its been awhile since i have played around with long exposure shots and i had never done something like this. Hope you like it enough to vote for me this week.
Canon 60D
25 sec
ISO 100

Zayd Y Khan

After I read the post here, I immediately had an idea.
I’ve done a few fire twirling pictures before, like the steel wool one pictured on your site.
So I spoke my partner in to letting the kids stay up a little longer as it was a school night, so we could get the house pitch dark. I fitted a few finger party lights on to each one of my kid’s hands, set up my Casio EX FH-20 on shutter of 20secs, 100 or 200 iso. This isn’t a DSLR so I can’t change lenses.
Then I had my two girl stand a short distance from each other and wave their arms around erratically with the party lights, which proved to be a ton of laughs for all of them and they absolutely loved it. After the photo was taken, I showed the preview on the camera’s LCD and got a loud ‘Woah’. We carried on and did a few others where they all ran around, my son included, but we liked this one the most.
By the way, no tripod was used. We had the camera resting on the kitchen bench. Hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it. Thank you.

Daniel Buskario

Hey everyone!
So I took this photo this week down at a local abandoned toothbrush warehouse. The place is trashed (falling apart, sections burnt down and there is rubbish everywhere). It was pretty freaky going in but once I found there was a quick escape (incase someone squatting came to attack me for some reason) I felt much better 🙂
– Canon 550d (Kiss x4)
– Stock Canon EFS 18-55mm lens
– Slik tripod
– Three light sticks taped together (red, blue and purple)
– A piece of string
– A friend (to hold open the shutter on BULB mode)
The camera was set on the tripod and many settings were tested to get the photo looking as good as i could. I ended up on ISO of 3200, F number of 5.6 and probably a shutter open for about 40 seconds (so i could make the orb look full).


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