Long Exposure Photography

Course Start:
Instructor: Beth Ruggiero-York Duration: 4 Weeks Cost: US$129

Welcome! You are about to embark on the exciting journey of Long Exposure Photography! Your technical skills and your creative eye will both be honed as we move through the lessons to an understanding of the why, when, and how of long exposure photography. You will first learn the nuts and bolts, then moving on to the creative decisions. The assignments will challenge you to practice the technical skills while at the same time considering the aesthetic side of the images, and the images you submit will be critiqued on both of these levels.

By the time you have completed the class, you will be comfortable applying what you have learned in the field, not only in the ways I have illustrated in the class, but in ways that are unique to your personal artistic vision.


Course Outline:

Lesson 1:

  • What is “Long Exposure Photography”?
  • When and why you would use long exposures?
  • Types of long exposure images
    1. Images with motion blur
    2. Night landscapes
    3. Urban scenes after dark
    4. Images lit with artificial lighting using flashlights, lanterns, strobes, etc. (aka light painting)
  • The technical stuff:
    1. What equipment do you need?
    2. Camera setup
    3. How to focus in low-light or at night
    4. Deciding on your exposure settings

Lesson 2:

  • Using filters for long exposure photography
    1. Fixed neutral density (ND) filters
    2. Variable neutral density (Variable ND) filters
    3. Polarizing filters
  • How to photograph motion blur:
    1. Waterfalls, ocean, etc.
    2. Car trails and other moving vehicles
    3. People moving through a static scene
    4. Panning

Lesson 3:

Photographing landscapes at night:

  1. Techniques for shooting nightscapes with stars as points in the background
  2. Techniques for shooting nightscapes with star trails

Lesson 4:

  • Photographing artificially lit night scenes, including light painting
  • Photographing by the light of the moon
  • Wrap-up and final assignment


Course Requirement:

You must have an understanding of exposure (Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO) and be familiar with your camera.


Instructor: Beth Ruggiero-York

Beth Ruggiero-York

Beth Ruggiero-York is an award-winning photographer who specializes in night and long-exposure photography. Originally from the Northeast, she and her husband now spend summers on Cape Cod and winters in Arizona, where she is a photographer/instructor for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops and the Desert Botanical Garden. Fluent in Chinese, Beth did photography R&D in China for National Geographic to create their new photo tours, and she has been leading and organizing tours to China and other parts of Asia since 1984, including groups for National Geographic and Smithsonian since 1997.






To Learn more about how our courses work please visit: Course Info

“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”

Barbara Geiger
Understanding Color

“Thank you so very much for this course! It’s allowed me to take the blinders off and present my images for what I want them to be without being a slave to the “reality” of the camera. I would also add that in conjunction with your printing course, this has been the most useful course I’ve ever taken. Your notes are more than comprehensive and your comments and critiques are direct, clear, and always directed to the improvement of the art.”

After the click

” I want to thank you for this class and for your patience and availability to answer all of my questions. I have learned very much through this class. I have used LR in the past, but mostly for editing images. I now have a better grasp in the organization of my images, an even better understanding of editing images, and an understanding of the value of presets. I still have a lot to learn, but this has put me on the road to be able to improve my photography. Again, thank you! ”

Dale Yates
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