Long-Exposure Photos of a Sleepwalker Under the Stars


Photographer Alex Bamford‘s Sleepwalking series is a photo project with a simple idea but beautiful results. In short, it can be described as “moonlit wanderings in pajamas.”

The photographs each show a barefooted man, dressed in pajamas, and exploring some outdoor location under the stars. Many of the photographs have longer exposure times, which create a dreamy environment by creating streaks of stars, wispy clouds, and blurry seas.

Gear-wise, the photos were captured with a Nikon D700 and a 17-35mm lens.
















You can find more photos from the series over on Bamford’s website and on his Flickr page.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Kevin!

  • m

    some people had too mich time in their hands

  • w

    um, it’s called being creative. google it.

  • Jeremy Lawrence

    And it’s a good thing they do. :-)

  • A creative

    I do like comments like “Some people have too much time on their hands……” Never once met someone who would write something like that who wasn’t jealous of the freedom of the person they were criticising. They seem to fill their hours with endless online criticising and complaining rather than actually going out and doing something constructive or creative with their own time.

  • duh

    Here’s a quote which applies here to your criticism.

    “If you find yourself criticizing other people, you’re probably doing it out of
    Resistance. When we see others beginning to live their authentic selves, it drives us crazy if we have not lived out our own.

    Individuals who are realized in their own lives almost never criticize others.”

  • JK

    you, for a start, leaving comments like that.

  • lidocaineus

    The comp on these photos are really great. On the tech side, anyone have any idea how he froze the sleepwalker so sharply on such long exposures? I suppose the easiest way would be to strobe him so he wouldn’t have to sit still for that long, but the shadows and lighting appear to contraindicate that.

  • Iain Chambers

    I particularly like the penultimate shot. It’s got a touch of sci-fi to it – PJ man looks gigantic – but also there’s a vulnerability there. He looks bleakly alone.

  • Jonathon Watkins

    Impressive. Great concept well executed. I too would like to know how he managed to freeze folks like that. I’m guessing he shot 2 images, one with a ISO of 6400 to get the frozen subject at a shutter speed of something like 1/2 second and a second exposure of ISO 100 for a 30 second exposure. That way the light would be the same, the noise could be removed from the shot and the relative smallness of the subject would mean that small movements did not show up.

  • alex

    One long exposure shot and another normal shot and then photoshop… maybe…

  • Bart Cummins

    What an interesting idea and I can only imagine the planning and research that went into creating these.
    Especially like the ones where the stars are visible and in the last two, the way the clouds and water reinforce the theme.
    Good job.

  • Scott Verge

    Very cool stuff, if you notice all or a lot of the shots seem to be taken on moonlit nights. His settings (at least on the photos I checked) are 200 ISO, f8 and ~200 second exposure. He also had this to say in response to someone asking weather the model was required to sit still the whole 3 minutes.

    “Hey Sheldon, the subject was me and no I didn’t. It’s a composite shot, long exposure background and a flash shot of me.”

    I’d like to do some similar shots with my wife as a subject and the shot I’d really like to pull off would be her lying on the beach in the water with that awesome fog all surrounding her. I was hoping to get her in a position that she could hold for the required time. Flash wouldn’t work cause it would also freeze the waves and splashes. Now that I see this I might try a bunch of her in interesting situations as this photographer has done though.

    Definitely inspirational work!

  • timo musgrove

    i really wanna do this. sadly if i wanted to it would require me being the one in the shot >.>

  • Hotel In North Carolina

    Great Photo! You are a amazing photographer, all the beauti you capture in your photo.

  • PeakPerspective

    Truly spectacular views. Such lovely creativity.

  • Kang Bang

    sorry im kinda new to photography, could you explain to me, when you say composite shot, does it mean he took one shot with long exposure, then another with him inside, but maybe a 1/40 exposure, and then photoshoped the two together?

  • Scott Verge

    Yep that seems to be what he’s saying. Keep in mind that the part of my post contained in the Quotes is a direct quote from the photographer in his flicker comments.

  • Noel

    I guessing very little photoshop was used. The star trails are not that long, therefore not very long exposures, at a guess 30 secs to 1min. Wide angle lenses are great for these shots also as they don’t showshow little movement up in the guy as much as a zoom.