by Tim Devine
A fun way to manipulate the scene that you are photographing is to play with the shutter speed for creative effect. If you have ridden Mission Space in Epcot’s Future World, you know that the spinning wheel in the beginning of the queue is a slow moving, space capsule with several rooms. To get this photograph, I used a tripod and set the shutter speed to the slowest possible without having to go into bulb mode, 30 seconds. By using a 30 second shutter, the movement of the wheel is heavily exaggerated and the lights in the wheel become swirls as they move through the frame. It is simple to explain why the light streaks occur: as the camera’s shutter stays open, the lights in the wheel are moving around, causing their position to be constantly recorded in a different location, hence the streaks. To get this effect, you MUST use a stable tripod and a very slow shutter speed. This effect also works well with moving water (see the Polynesian Picture of the Day) and makes the water look soft and creamy.