Take Your Time

Week two of Twenty Two is here and chances are that some of us have already dropped a few of the resolutions we made at the New Year’s party. No worries. This theme for this week is on staying focused despite what is happening around you. How do we translate this into photography?

Long exposure

There are many interesting things you can do with long exposure and the great thing about your plastic models is that they stay perfectly still (most of the time). A quick Google image search on “long exposure” brings up really cool examples of photographers using it to capture the dynamic nature of the city, the indifferent movement of elements in nature, or some really cool effect using light painting. The shoot Bevvy did for the LEGO Porsche 911 comes to mind and the iconic image of the London Bus by Julien can be seen in this post.

Some tips

  • A tripod is a must (or any method to keep your camera absolutely still)
  • Set the ISO on a low value, 
  • Set the aperture to sixteen or higher
  • Keep the shutter open for at least a few seconds (depending on how much motion you want to capture)
  • Find a spot with lots of movement (cars or people in the background, a river/stream)
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again
  • Patience is your friend

Trying new things

I’m no expert on this topic, so I found this blog post very helpful. I wanted to try a few things. Just to see how it turns out. The weekly challenge isn’t a competition after all. It’s meant to be fun and an opportunity to try new things. To get out of our comfort zone – as many of us set that as a goal for 2022.

First I set up my lights, mini humidifier (was curious to see if it would have any effect on the image) and my new IAmElemental figurine. I moved different light sources around the figure to try and create the illusion of a virtual world – it looks to me like she’s wearing VR goggles. 

Oblivion with her head in the clouds – or the Metaverse?

Droid About Town

I then took my LEGO K2SO to Sky-road to see if I could capture the movement of people passing and delivery scooters zooming past. I made plans to have dinner with a friend in the area to justify going downtown to get this shot. In the end, I didn’t really like how it turned out. 

K2SO makes his way to downtown Daejeon.

One More Try

On the way home, I decided to try and get a shot of Peter B. Parker with some car lights passing by. I found a spot on a street that gets quite a bit of traffic at night. Played around a bit. Scared some passers-by who weren’t expecting a person hunched over a toy, fiddling with lights behind a lamp post. I’m happy I sat in the freezing cold waiting for cars to go by. This ended up being my favourite image of the bunch.

That’s one of the beautiful things about photography. Trust the process. Sometimes it turns out better than you had hoped. Sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s okay. Just try again.

Peter B. Parker slows down and takes it easy.

Take Your Time

This is also a nice reminder that if you need a break or to be still for a while, to focus on you while everything blurs and moves around you, that it is okay. Recently, Maëlick shared details about being stuck in a creative rut and his subsequent hiatus from social media. He brings up an important point. It is necessary sometimes to take a break from what you’re doing, step back and reflect on the direction you’re going. It is a crucial part of the creative process. Whether you are also feeling uninspired with the direction of your art, feeling burnt out, or just need a bit of time to regain your balance. It’s okay. Take time away to watch the stars move across the sky or watch a movie to escape to another world. I recommend Sci-Fi. We don’t all move at the same tempo, so take your time, be kind to yourself, and remember to focus on you.

Slow down.

Be still.


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Stefan Matthies
2 years ago

Breathe…listen…exhale. Repeat.
What lovely words to introduce us to this week’s theme.
I already enjoyed my test shots. Now I’m curious to find out more.
Thank you, Suné.

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