long exposure photography

Abstract Light Streaks #419, Edit D, aka, Ganesha and My Thoughts on doing Photography Everyday

Title: “Abstract Light Streaks #419, Edit D, aka, Ganesha”.

Creation Date: 13 August 2019.

By: Nawfal Johnson.

Copyright 2019 Nawfal Johnson
All Rights Reserved
Penang, Malaysia

☆ Here’s how You can Help Me Now! Click on the Following Link and Buy my Fine Art Photography in Gallery-Quality Prints and Canvas:



Photography Everyday?

“One question I get asked sometimes is, “Do I do photography everyday?””

“The simple answer is, ‘No’, I don’t photograph subjects everyday.

In fact, sometimes, one, two, or even three weeks may roll by between the actual process of photographing things.

I know, that is ‘BLASPHEMOUS’, some other Photographers may exclaim!

Well, here is my reasoning: IF, I photographed everyday, I would never get to the actual creation of Art Photographs that I do, and my photographic art pieces do take (considerable) time to complete.

I already have a backlog of RAW images that I need to edit and work with. Maybe other Photographers need to be photographing everyday, but I don’t! I already have enough RAW images I need to work with, and I can only do that if I am at my desk, working with those images on my TAB (or a computer) and doing the ACTUAL creative work to design images for my various series.

So, ‘No’ is the answer to that question. When I run low on RAW image files, or, if I just want to go take pictures, then, I grab my camera and hit the streets to find new subject matter. Nevertheless, I am always composing images in my mind, and photographing images in my mind as I walk around: It is a habit for me.

☆ I do always carry my camera with me, as that is PHOTOGRAPHY’S FIRST CARDINAL RULE: ‘ALWAYS HAVE YOUR CAMERA WITH YOU’!

However, that does not mean that I always take my camera out and capture photographs for nothing. In my opinion, a subject REALLY needs to POP-OUT at me and grab my attention, or look VERY interesting for me to compose a picture with my camera. It is just the way I am now, with my photography.


#Poetry of Moving Lights

Photography Categories:

#Long-Exposure Photography, #Nighttime Photography, #Dancing Lights, #Ambidextrous Photography.

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My BEST Advice for Nighttime – Low-Light Photography

"My BEST Advice for Nighttime – Low-Light Photography"

ANSON ROAD AT NIGHTTIME, Edit B, 10 Dec 2011, Copyright Nawfal Johnson Nur

"Anson Road at Nighttime, Edit B"
10 Dec 2011
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

Sometimes, I study the search terms that people use to get to my blog, "Behind the Lens," and then I attempt to write something useful to help out people who are searching for specific bits of advice.  In this particular case, someone had searched for "how to photograph at night".  Thus, I will mention my BEST advice for nighttime / low-light photography:  My advice to anyone wanting to photograph in near dark conditions, with only nighttime lighting (e.g. street lights, vehicle lights, etc.), is to use a tripod.  Nothing will mess with you more than unintentional movement of the camera during long exposures.  By ‘long exposures,’ I mean any shutter speed that is more than 1/15th second.  Maybe I’m not the steadiest shooter in the world, but I know that my heartbeat will certainly move the camera as blood pumps through my arms and hands.  Any movement during extended shutter times will create nice blurry photos.  A good, heavy, sturdy tripod will help create a steady platform for your camera.  So there you have it – Use a tripod is my BEST advice for nighttime and low-light photography.  My second best advice is experiment a lot.  My third best advice is shoot a lot.  My fourth best advice is try NOT to get hit by cars when taking photographs of traffic at nighttime.  I tend to set up shop in the street which has its own hazards. 

This is BEST Tree

This is BEST Tree, Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

"This is BEST Tree"

10 Dec 2011
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur

It was nighttime.  I had my camera.  There was my favorite Penang tree.  I needed no other motivation.  This is a long exposure, about 20 seconds worth of time.

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Relaxing under the night sky

"Relaxing Under the Night Sky"

6 Dec 2011
Nighttime long-exposure photograph.
Copyright 2011 Nawfal Johnson Nur 

I was outside already shooting the nighttime sky, and my assistants were ‘busy’ helping out, as you can see.  So, I thought I would capture about 30-seconds of their busy-ness.  The bright rectangular items in the photo are cell phone screens.



Title: KLCC FOUNTAIN, No.62, Edit B
What is it? Urban Fountain between the SURIA KLCC and the PETRONAS Park, just at twilight, when the lights are turned on in the pool.
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Uploaded by BEHIND the LENS with Nawfal Nur on 27 Dec 08, 3.52PM MYT.

Old Wood House at Night, v.2c, & Original

The bottom image is the original shot. The top image is the edited version. The top version is also the one the B&W image came from.

Photographed by Nawfal Nur

It is like Day & Night. Sometimes, you just have to work with the original to get something that you can be happy with.

You go out at nighttime, let’s say, and you see a scene, and it may not be ideal, or the circumstances may not be ideal, but you see potential. You grab your camera, you set it on your tripod, and you take the photograph. With limited time and working with the existing lighting, you take the shot: The “original photograph” is like the clay a potter works with to create a piece of art that is previsualized in the artist’s mind.

As a photographer and artist, you start working with the original image making the artwork come to life; it starts becoming the image you saw in your minds eye.

For me, I like this process, working with the original and then molding and shaping it until it becomes the image I saw in my minds eye, as I said, a work that I can be really happy with.

If I have a choice, I prefer to get the photograph as close to my vision as possible, with the original. However, this is not possible all the time.

This scene was photographed at around 11PM, and the only lighting was a single HPS (high pressure sodium lamp) street light, which for photographic purposes, is a very weak illumination source. Various other urban light pollution was around, but definitely not helping the photographic situation. What drew my attention to this scene was the texture of the materials in the house, the spookiness of the environment, and the possibilities I saw in my minds eye. That was enough for me to take the effort, and make the exposure.


Hi People!

Just me checking out if FLOCK has improved on it’s blogging capabilities. I guess I will find out.

Here is a photo I took just outside of Island Plaza, oh, a couple weeks ago I think. The goal was to get light streaks so no tripod was used, but I did want to get lettering readable, as seen here in the photo. The exposure was in the 15 to 30 second range at f/8.0. I was really happy with the results.

I had to squish the photo a bit using the handles on the image (in wordpress) and that does not produce lossless resizing at all.  Bummer.  Therefore, I’ve added a link to the image to go to my Flickr version, which is much better – just click on the image below to go to my Flickr Gallery.

Time Exposure Photograph by Nawfal Nur - All Rights Reserved.



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A Few Images Added to My “35mm Photo” Set.

“Walking into the Light” by Nawfal Nur

Well, it’s been awhile since I first made my “35mm Photography” Page.

I think, and I must admit, I’ve been busy and a little absentminded…I forgot to add images to the page. My apologies for anyone who has gone to my 35mm Photo Page and found not much there.

I have improved it a little, and now you can see a few images that I took using my 1960’s, Nikon F camera. The photographs were taken in March, for the “This Planet” Project. 146 photographs (from about the same number of Photographers I would guess) covering subjects from around the world, were taken at approximately the same time. For me, in Penang, I think it was around 10:05pm when I shot most of the images for this project.

I still love shooting with film, no doubt about it. I must also admit, it is difficult to not love digital too. And, in this part of the world, getting specialty films, like the ones I used to love shooting with, B&W Ilford, KODAK HC, Kodachrome, IR, etc., is just not so possible. Many of these films may not be made anymore, and some are just plain not available in some areas.

Basic film…yes…can get.

Specialty film, not that I know of…very tough to get.

Well, as I locate older 35mm shots, or shoot new ones (which may not be too often), I’ll send them to my 35mm Photography Page. Thanks for looking!

Photographing Indoors to Achieve Streaks of Colorful Light – And a Rant

Abstract Streaks of Light during Radin Mas Performance, by Nawfal Nur

Photographing Indoors to Achieve Streaks of Colorful Light


Abstract of RADIN MAS, Frame1208, Edit B, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Abstract, Fine Art Photography: Streaks of colored light recorded during the performance of “Radin Mas,” a cultural and Historic Malay drama.

This is a result of a long shutter speed and allowing the performers on stage, to move around long enough to form the colorful streaks.

This is not as easy as it seems. The easy thing to do when taking this sort of shot is to overexpose the image. Getting it perfect, is the trick.

You can make these sorts of shots by moving the camera; or, by keeping your camera firm, and let the subjects move around. Or…both.

One trick you may want to remember, however, is to use some sort of support (tripod, monopod, beanbag, etc.).

When shooting indoors, under the subdued hues of the artificial lighting coming from the stage lights, there is no problem with making long exposures. Being that digital photography has now made it “SO EASY” for anyone to instantly check if they “got it” or not, there is usually time to take a second, third, fourth or fifth shots, until you get the best effect without overexposing the image.

Start by setting your camera on Manual Mode. Set the shutter speed at 1 second, and adjust your aperture until you see a nice balance in lighting (nothing blown out in the highlights): You can check this in the LCD for most Point & Shoot Users and those of you using Olympus DSLR’s with the real time viewing technology (if I understand their cameras’ capabilities correctly).

If you are using a regular DSLR, then GUESS! f/8.0 is a beautiful and perfect aperture – start with that, and adjust as you “Chimp” and see the images on the LCD after taking each shot.

Sometimes, it takes a good 2, 3, or 4 seconds to create good streaks, and that will make it necessary to adjust your aperture also, so keep that in mind. But hey, digital film is cheap, so take lots of shots, check your results and adjust from there.

You can also use your zoom lens on long exposures and really go wild with the colorful streaks!

Have at it! Have fun!

Remember, you don’t have to have $5,000, $10,000, or $20,000 cameras and lenses to make fantastic photographs; that hype is just a bunch of camera manufacturer bullshit!

The creativity is in you! If you don’t have a creative bone in your body, a new D3 or Mark III or some Medium Format with Digital Back, isn’t gun’na do a damned thing to help you take better photos. It’s like I’ve said before: “If you give a Chimp a $5,000 camera, you’re still going to get photographs of bananas; Or, he’ll bust the shit out of it!”

Do I seem a bit grumpy today? Maybe…

I think consumers have bought into the digital camera propaganda, hook, line and sinker. You buy a new digital camera today, and 9-months later, these same people are telling you your camera is obsolete and out of date, you better buy a new one. Hell, I have a circa., 1960’s Nikon F that, in a total destruction contest, could outlast any of the new digital cameras, and it still takes fantastic film photographs. It will only become obsolete when the film companies stop making film! But in the meantime, it has gotten, roughly, 47-good years of use out of it! Try that, with any digital camera! Good Luck!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, fancy smamcy advertising agencies want to see the photographer with the Hasselblad and Phase One digital back and all that, because it may be today’s norm. And hell, it looks f’ing cool, right! Stock Agencies use to say 8MP image files were required; then it was 10MP; then it was 12MP; then what, 16MP; and then what…?

I’m not sure how the hell this Journal Entry started out with How to take Nice Color Streaked Images, to a Rant on Digital Imaging, but it sure as hell got there one way or another.

F’, I love digital imaging! No doubt about it.

But I’m sick of the idea that we need to upgrade our cameras to become better photographers! That shit just don’t fly with Homeboy here! Ah…no way!

Cameras don’t make the photographs, Photographers do!

And, it isn’t about you, anyway! It’s not about vanity and “Oh, you are so cool!”

It’s about this type of reaction when someone looks at your photographs: “F’en A! I can’t believe those people are taking justice into their own hands, and stabbing the shit out of that guy for “whatever”!

You just happened to be the Photojournalist or Street Photographer with whatever camera you had in your hands, and you captured that EXTREME MOMENT IN TIME, that MADE A POTENT STATEMENT, and TOLD A POTENT STORY with your photograph!

** It’s about the picture, not the photographer. It’s about the photographer, and not the equipment! **

So, with that said, I’m finished!

I’ve got to go cool down and do something else for awhile….

No need for comments on this one…I just wanted to state my thoughts, no one has to agree with me!

Peace! And, “Live Long and Prosper!”