What is a Bulb mode and what does it do? In this article we will look at the details of the Bulb (B) mode, which is frequently available for long exposure photography and also in which cases and in which areas of photography it is used.

A Bulb is a shutter value that allows the shutter to remain open as long as the shutter is held down in cameras. The shutter button is not usually pressed with the finger to keep the vibration low. Shots are carried out via a shutter extension cord or remote control.

Bulb Mode is a shutter mode that you need to use when you want to go outside the exposure limit, which is usually 30 seconds on a camera.

What Does A Bulb Mode Do?

The Bulb mode is a derivative of the manual mode in the camera. The upper levels of the long exposure will appear in low-light environments or in situations where the person has determined the shooting conditions for more than 30 seconds.

bulb mode

Naturally, you get long exposure. In this case, when you want to shoot with Bulb Mode, you need to pay attention to the same elements in the long exposure shots. One of the most important subjects when making long exposure is shutter speed. If we consider the shutter speeds in the range of 30sec to 1/8000, the limit of shooting is generally expressed as 1/15 when the light is reduced.

The Bulb mode is a shutter option for long exposure shots after 30 seconds. We mentioned that it works like a manual mode. Manual shooting mode is a shooting mode where the photographer can make any exposure using aperture, shutter speed and ISO independently of each other. In this way, the photographer captures the free environment in which he can use the trio of aperture, shutter and ISO together according to the available light and environment.

After you set the aperture, you keep the shutter open for as long as you want. This can sometimes be over 30 seconds and sometimes in the form of minutes.

The photos you can take with the Bulb mode are listed as follows; star trails, the Milky Way or any kind of night photos can count. Some fireworks photos can be taken with ND filters as well. You can even paint with light if desired.

If you need more ideas, technique, tips and tutorials you can check our Photography page here.

May your light be bright. Stay healthy.


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Digital photography ideas, tips, techniques and tutorials for camera owners of all levels.