Making People Disappear

Long Exposure to Make Things Disappear

5/1/20232 min read

Pipers with bagpipes in aManchester bagpipe competition
Pipers with bagpipes in aManchester bagpipe competition

II plan to do this at some point but long exposures have been something on my list for a long time and they can give you a lot of different effects. I first heard about long exposures creating magic when I read one of my first photography books and there was a photographer that took a really long exposure and nodded their head and the resultant photo was them without a head. I was captivated by this, but I tried it and didn’t get good results. Needless to say that I am very old and so this was on a 35mm film camera (actually I can’t talk for the photographer in the book, they may have had a different film form).

I’ve not really thought too much about it other than taking the Cypriot Waterfall. I mean I did buy an ND filter to lengthen the exposure time, and I did have a cheap one which was really awful. So much so that each picture taken was being taken through a lattice gate. Despite this I have yet to create anything meaningful.

Anyway, the point of this post is harks back to the start, where you can make things disappear. I read a post (I don’t know where) that suggested you can take pictures of busy places and take such a long exposure that all the people disappear. I loved the idea and have yet to have chance to try it out myself. To be honest I don’t think it even needs to be a long exposure, but perhaps multiple photos combined. Obviously for both you will need to have a tripod and for the later a remote shutter, and I think the multiple exposure is easier nowadays. However either way should work. The nearest article I can find is this one. I suspect the thing is that you would be better not having a lot of sky in the shot as this sort of gives the overall impression of an overcast scene, unless you have a completely blue sky of course.

Needless to say, if I ever get a morning/afternoon to myself, then I’ll post my results here.