Photographing nightscapes and blurring movement

Photographing nightscapes and blurring movement

This week’s travel snap takes us back to the island of beauty, Corsica and the lovely village of Agajola. I’ve visited several times and stayed there for a few days while on assignment for Corsican Places photographing the area. It certainly was a great base from which to explore la Balagne. This shot is my favourite from a series I took at different times of the day from just outside my hotel, looking back at the village and the sweeping bay of sand, known as Aregno Plage.

Photography Tip – Movement blur

When photographing a moving object it is usual to use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action and to give a sharp clear image, however, sometimes lovely effects can be created by using a slower shutter speed. Photographs of dancing, for instance, lend themselves to this, as a bit of blurring movement in an otherwise sharp image can create more atmosphere. Moving water can also create lovely images with a slow shutter speed, often used to great effect with seascapes and river shots, where the moving water is blurred to create a misty, almost ethereal image. Here you can see a fairly subtle example of this around the rocks in the foreground.

Photography Tip – Nightscapes

Usually, but of course there are always exceptions to the rule, the best time to take a photograph of a view by night is about half an hour after sunset when there is still some light in the sky but it is dark enough for an effective night shot. Find the spot from where you want to take your photograph, set up your camera on a tripod and wait. You will need a very long exposure so to avoid camera shake when you press the shutter, so use a shutter release or set the camera on timer. There is usually about a ten minute window when the light is just right. If you are looking east that window will be a little earlier then if you are looking west as there will be more light in the sky where the sun has set.

Travel Photo Roulette

This photograph is also my entry for Round 42 of Travel Photo Roulette: theme ‘evening’. Entries must be in by 11.59pm Monday May 14th. Do check it out; there are some really amazing photos entered so far. Glad I don’t have to pick the winner!

More about Algajola

You can read more about the area in my post Algajola and exploring La Balagne (written originally for The Corsica Blog.)


  1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful place and thank you for visiting my blog.


  2. Thank you for that very helpful tip on right timing. Taking photos at night is most challenging for me and I tend to avoid it. Guess I’ll start with landscapes/urbanscapes and fiddle with the settings first. :) Thanks again, Kat!

    • If you have a digital SLR it’s easy to set it to aperture priority and let it work out the right length of exposure. You will need a tripod though. For this shot I had the aperture set very small at f22 so that I’d get as much depth of field as possible and a 10 second exposure, hence the blurry sea in the foreground which I rather like. Hope you enjoy trying it out. 😀

  3. It’s a lovely shot. There I finally got to say it. Every time i reach this point in my readers blogs I get interrupted. Shame I don’t have anything more intelligent to say than “wish I had the know how to take photos like this”. Thanks Kat.

  4. Now you’re responsible for adding another destination to my wish list! Lovely shot and good tips too – thank you.

    • Thanks Suzanne and you’ll have crossed Italy off soon so you can pop Corsica in it’s place! :-)

  5. So close, yet so far! On a beautiful clear day we can see southern Corsica. I’m sure there was still a snow capped mountain when we drove around yesterday! :)

      • I have never been but would love to one day! It’s really only a few hour ferry ride! Any summer travel plans for you this year?

        • Paris in a few weeks for the weekend and a few days in Italy in July. Want to see more of England this year too – always been to busy going elsewhere to get to know my own country!

  6. What a beautiful place! Neat shot Kat! Love the angle


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