How to Take a Long Exposure With a Canon 40D SLR

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The Canon 40D SLR camera is more advanced than standard point and click digital cameras and provides the photographer with more control over camera settings. One setting a photographer can change on the 40D is the shutter speed. By decreasing the shutter speed, photographers can take long exposure photographs, which are useful in low light environments or if the photographer wants to add certain effects to his photograph.

  • Turn the mode dial on the top left corner of the camera to the "TV" setting. On the Canon 40D, "TV" stands for "Time Value."

  • Rotate the main dial on the top right corner of the Canon 40D to the left to decrease the shutter speed. The shutter speed setting on the LCD screen next to the main dial will change as you rotate the dial. The numbers 8,000 through 4 represent a fraction of a second. For example, the number "10" is 1/10 of a second. If the number has a quote symbol next to it, then it refers to a full second. For example, 15" is 15 seconds.

  • Point the camera at the subject and press the shutter button halfway to allow the camera to focus and set the aperture. If the aperture setting blinks, then the amount of light is not right for the shutter setting. Adjust the shutter setting or move the subject to a better lit environment.

  • Press the shutter button fully to take the photograph.

Tips & Warnings

  • Motion blur is expected with long exposure photographs, and is increased if you try to hold the camera in place for an extended period of time. Consider placing the camera on a tripod or flat surface when taking long exposure photographs.

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