Interesting Photo of the Day: 10 Minute Single Exposure

More long exposure greatness here—this one is a 10 minute single exposure of The Twelve Apostles at night, Port Campbell, Australia. Photographer Axil Lonergan captured this cool shot at the end of a late evening drive down the Great Ocean Road.

The Twelve Apostles is a popular Australian tourist attraction on the coast in the Port Campbell National Park. There were never twelve limestone stacks; originally there were nine, but for some reason the name stuck. There are now only eight remaining—the ninth one collapsed spectacularly in 2005.

Port Campbell, Australia long exposure

“The Twelve Apostles at Night” by Axil Lonergan (Via Reddit. Click image to see full size.)

Lonergan shot this image without an ND filter, as it was a completely moonless night. The glow you can see toward the right-hand side of the image are the lights of Port Campbell, but I think the soft, orange glow adds an extra dimension to the image.

Lonergan used a Sony NEX-7 camera with a Sony E 35mm lens. His settings were ISO 100, f/1.8, and 626 seconds.

Why did he use such a large aperture? Lonergan explains that it comes from his experience in wide field astrophotography. In that type of photography, wide apertures and high ISOs are used to get as much starlight into the image as possible before the stars start leaving trails. He focused to infinity, and because the objects he focused on were not close to the camera, everything appeared in focus even at such a low f/stop.

Instead of shooting with a high ISO, Lonergan decided to try ISO 100. For each step down in ISO, he doubled the exposure time and ended up with 10.5 minutes. This gives the image such a beautiful, ethereal feel.

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