Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake is known for his accomplished long-exposure photographs of fireflies, volcanic eruptions, and beaches awash in bioluminescencnt firefly squid. His exposures, which he refers to as “the light of Japan,” can last anywhere between 15 seconds and 30 minutes and are rooted in an almost meditative approach to photography that he likens to a form of poetry in an interview with TIME. His time spent waiting for each exposure hasn’t been in vain, Miyatake recently won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. You can see more of his photography on his website and over on Spoon & Tamago.
Photo by Krisztian Birinyi
Although Christmas still feels like something in the vast future (or past, depending on your point of view) it certainly doesn’t hurt to think about the wintry season as summer temperatures continue to rise. One of the most mesmerizing Christmas sights we’ve seen are these trams and local streetcars in Budapest decorated with over 30,000 LED lights. The twinkling lights, when photographed with just the right exposure, creates a marveling image that resembles a futuristic vehicle speeding through time. This beautiful tradition of decorating trams was an initiative by the Budapest Transport Company, which kicked off in 2009. If you want to plan a visit you’ll definitely want to check out their website for routes and tram schedules.
Self-taught photographer Darren Moore creates ethereal black and white landscapes using a method called daytime long exposure, where a special filters are attached to a camera lens to reduce the amount of light. These neutral density filters allow for the shutter to open for extended periods of time in broad daylight, from 30 seconds to upward of 15 minutes for a single exposure. Moore shoots mostly in locations around England, where he frequently visits causeways, breakwaters, shipwrecks, and other features along the shore.
After spending a week photographing various areas of the Canadian Rockies, photographer Brian Donovan decided he wanted to focus on getting some interesting train shots against the wintry backdrop. Dovan shares via email that over the course of two days he endured nearly 13 hours of sitting by the train tracks, where he saw only 6 trains coming from the wrong (less scenic) direction. As the weather rapidly changed from better to worse a final train came roaring around the bend. Donovan quickly setup and captured the engine as it neared and then adjusted for a long exposure of the boxcars rushing by. The train was loaded with several long segments of different colored boxcars, each giving the shot a unique feel, but the red boxcars instantly stood out, resulting in the amazing image you see here. You can follow Donovan over on 500px.
Photographer Darren Pearson (previously) has been perfecting his long-exposure light painting techniques over the last few months. While I really enjoy his dinosaurs you can see lots more in his recent California Soul series that explores Californian culture through surfing, skateboarding and skeletons.
For the last month or so photographer Yume Cyan has been shooting some magical long exposure photographs of fireflies in a forested area around Nagoya City, Japan. By keeping the camera’s shutter open at a low aperture Cyan captures every bioluminescent flash of each insect resulting in dotted light trails that criss-cross the frame. You may remember a similar series of photographs also shot in Japan from back in 2011. You can see these a bit larger over on 500px.
Like a freak midnight rainbow, this ongoing series of lit waterfalls titled Neon Luminance is part of a collaboration between Sean Lenz and Kristoffer Abildgaard over at From the Lenz. The duo dropped high-powered Cyalume glow sticks in a variety of colors into various waterfalls in Northern California and then made exposures varying from 30 seconds to 7 minutes to capture the submerged trails of light as the sticks moved through the current. To accomplish some of the more complicated shots they strung several sticks together at once to create different patterns of illumination. For those of you concerned about pollution, the sticks (which are buoyant) were never opened and were collected at the end of each exposure, thus no toxic goo was mixed into the water. See more from the project on their website.