How to Unlock the Magic of Slow Shutter Speed Photography (VIDEO)

We constantly preach the necessity of trying new techniques and expanding one’s vision if you want to broaden your skills and capture images that look different from most of what you see. Today’s episode demonstrates a quick-and-easy method for doing exactly that.

Eva Polak is an accomplished pro whose beautiful work is immediately recognizable for the breathtaking, impressionist style she employs in a variety of ways. One reason her photos are so unique is that she often uses techniques (like in the tutorial below) that run contrary to conventional wisdom.

This six-minute episode is devoted to the artistic potential of shooting images with slow shutter speeds. She discusses the power of this “magical” method for capturing motion, creating abstract images, and conveying a sense of time and movement in your photographs. In other words, making your work stand out from the crowd.

As Polak says, “Join us as we take a trip back to the early days of photography and discover the artistic possibilities of slow shutter speeds in the digital age.” By following her advice you’ll embrace a whole new eye-catching style and your photos will never be the same.

We’ve all been taught that shooting with fast shutter speeds is the key to capturing sharp and clear images, and that’s absolutely true if you want to stick with the same-old-same-old approach you’ve used in the past. As you’ll see, however, this emphasis on speed causes us to overlook a variety of creative opportunities.

Polak begins with a quick history lesson and a discussion about how photographers’ goals have changed over time, thanks to ever-evolving camera technology. As exposure times shortened, for example, photographers became more creative by experimenting with time exposures “to achieve fantastic artistic effects.”

Today, those with a creative bent are experimenting with both time exposures and slow shutter speeds to expand creativity even further. Polak demonstrates how easy this is to do, and she uses her stunning imagery to illustrate her straightforward tips. She also provides practical examples of various applications for this oft-ignored technique.

Bottom line: If you slow down, both literally and figuratively, you’ll be surprised by the great images you’ll capture in the camera (no special editing techniques required). There’s a whole new world out there, just waiting for you to give this a try.

There’s much more to see and learn on Polak’s very popular YouTube channel, so make a point to take a look. And be sure to check out another of her tutorials we posted in the past, explaining how to use intentional camera movement (ICM) to give your photography a creative boost.