What is long exposure photography? Long-exposure, time-exposure, or slow-shutter photography involves using a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements. Long-exposure photography captures one element that conventional photography does not: an extended period of time. The paths of bright moving objects become clearly visible. Clouds form broad bands, head and tail lights of cars draw bright streaks, stars leave trails in the sky, and water waves appear smoothened. Only bright objects will leave visible trails, whereas dark objects usually disappear. Boats in long exposures will disappear during daytime, but will draw bright trails from their lights at night.