Recreating Paintings With Photography

Recently a friend of mine sent me a link to a great photographer’s site. The first time I saw it, though, I thought “No way. This has to be Photoshopped.” Instead, after poking around for a while, I came to understand how exactly Mike Kaplan captures such stunning images with a camera and, without any post-processing or editing, makes them look as if they had been painted onto a canvas by a master watercolor painter such as Edward Hooper or Winslow Homer.

In his seascapes and landscapes, Kaplan uses a long exposure time to create not just a single moment in time but rather the flow of time over an area. Kaplan prefers to take his photos at sunset or sunrise. His work is very good and definitely worth a look.

Long exposure photography is a great way to give images of water that misty, almost otherworldly look. With a long exposure time, the moving objects in the photograph are blurred while the stationary ones — such as the rocks or the landscape — remain sharp and crisp. It is also often used in astrophotography to capture the images of distant stars, planets, or other astronomical phenomena. Another technique that makes use of long exposure photography is light painting where the photographer uses a light pen, match, or other small light source and moves it around in the image frame, creating an illusion of fire trails in the finished image.

Have you ever used long exposure times in your photography? If so, for what purpose? Feel free to share your own images with us in the comments below or over on our Facebook page!

— da Bird