Sometimes life just feels hectic doesn’t it. Almost as if everything is moving in fast forward, you blink and the day is already over. Before you know it the week is over, then another month and then the entire year.

Photography helps slow down what is often a fast paced lifestyle for me, but it too is also bound by time as I try to capture fleeting moments of light.

A fun and challenging style I like to shoot is long exposures. And by ‘long’ I mean an exposure at least 30 seconds or longer. To do this, a neutral density filter is used. One that can reduce several stops of light. If you are not a photographer, basically imagine a dark, tinted piece of glass that goes in front of the camera lens (kind of like very dark sunglasses). This allows the exposure time to be increased without over exposing the scene. This can yield some interesting and unique results. Many people probably think this stuff is edited in, but it is all done in camera.

Black and white image of rocks by the sea.

(Camel Rock, Bermagui – Two minute exposure)

What I enjoy about shooting these longer exposures is the challenge of time management. During a sunrise or sunset, the best light often only occurs around a ten minute window. With some of these exposures lasting up to 5 minutes long, there is not really much room for error. If you make a mistake with your composition or underexpose your scene, it may be too late to try again. Everything has to be thought out and patience is a must. It feels like a more poetic style of photography.

A long exposure of a pier at sunset. (Lake Illawarra – 100 second exposure)

Recently I turned 27. It really seems like yesterday I just turned 17. I remember getting my drivers license and skateboarding every single day. It blows my mind that was 10 years ago! I think every year I will probably have similar thoughts, right up until the day I die.

I guess all  I can do is just truly cherish every day. Photography helps me do that. Life is always going to have its ups and downs and hardships are unavoidable but as cliche as it sounds, it’s so important to remember what matters most and not lose sight of the big picture.

Pursuing careers that lead us away from family, constantly browsing social media, living vicariously through celebrities and idols, spending family time in front of a TV. The list goes on and varies from person to person. We all know what consumes our thoughts and our time.

Like shooting a long exposure, our ‘life time’ is of the essence. I often have to reassess my priorities and take a good honest look at myself. It’s not always easy but a bit of yard work goes a long way. Cutting out the weeds the choke up our time and watering the plants that need to grow.

Just as a tree is known by its fruit, so to is a man known by his deeds. May we use our time wisely to bring about a better tomorrow.

I have spent enough time on this blog. Thank you for reading and sharing. WP

A horse shaped rock by the sea. (Horse Head, Bermagui – 3 minute exposure)

 

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