180907 Urban Long - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Urban long exposures have two particular challenges. They're long exposures. In a city.

Finding room on the sidewalk for a tripod isn't easy, for one thing. And even with little pockets of space available near utility boxes and fire hydrants, these aren't always in the best spots for photos. Then there's the people aspect – I'm awkward being around people when I have a camera at the best of times, so setting up the gear and then standing there for several minutes doesn't come naturally.

But cities are interesting, and long exposures are a way to let unpredictability into the frame. 

These photos were taken with my X100F, which is a decent camera for the purpose. It's very stable and small, meaning it can work on a light tripod, and has a built-in ND filter that gives it a little extra oomph. But it's limited to only thirty seconds as a timed exposure, requiring a cabled remote and bulb mode, and I miss having a flip-up screen. So when I'm out on the island I use my XT2 as my primary camera, even on those times when I'm carrying the F as well. 

I also blame the Fuji XF16 lens. Getting used to working with it makes me feel like the 35mm-equivalent lens on the X100 is too long.