We’re all for breaking the mold here at 500px. When you’re starting out, it’s a great idea to replicate a particular genre’s standard ‘style’ until you’ve got it down; but once you’re comfortable, it’s time to start experimenting!

Long-exposure street photography is a great example of this kind of experimentation.

When you think of the “typical” street photo, it’s black-and-white, crisp, and captures some candid expression or event (in motion if you’re good). So why not break that mold and go to the other extreme? Set up a tripod, break out the ND filter (or go out at night), close up your aperture, and turn the exposure up to 11… seconds.

Or 9, or 6. Really anything that will allow you to capture a blurry mass of humanity walking the streets while the street itself becomes the impossibly sharp backdrop to this blur of motion:

Fear of the crowd by Iñigo Echenique ?? on 500px.com

Some call this the “spectral” effect, and it’s a great way to add motion to your street shots or emphasize a pensive moment in a very obvious way.

A lone figure standing on a busy street thinking for even a moment while the world whirrs by makes for a great street photograph. But when you crank the shutter speed, that moment comes alive!

Loneliness in the crowd by Erol Ayaz on 500px.com

The possibilities, though, are endless. You can have just a few people in the shot or a whole crowd; you can expose for just long enough for small trails, or so long the mass becomes totally unrecognizable; you can choose to enhance the moment with selective color, go full color, or opt for the ever-popular black and white.

You’re only limited by your creativity and willingness to go out and experiment. Find a busy place—train station, shopping center, your town’s main street, etc.—set up your tripod, and get shooting!

Just remember to use a remote trigger and protect your tripod while the crowd moves around it, because a single bump can ruin a shot like this. And if you need more inspiration, here are a few other long-exposure street shots we found on 500px that we really love.

Crossing by Loic Labranche on 500px.com

Ghosts by Martin Hricko on 500px.com

Charles Bridge by Christina Goggi on 500px.com

Crosswalk by Seona Kim on 500px.com

Ne me quitte pas by Dragan Todorovi? on 500px.com

Still/Moving by Aaron Sheldon on 500px.com

On the Move by Gavin Scott on 500px.com

"5:15" by CD  on 500px.com

IIII by kimerajam . on 500px.com

Subway In Lisboa by Damien Dohmen on 500px.com

Connected people? by dimdk84 on 500px.com

Fleeting beauty by Alessandro  Traverso on 500px.com

The Morning Market by YANG.Z.S  on 500px.com

Blurred Lines by John Pettigrew on 500px.com

A? žijí duchové! by Petr Ma?ašeje on 500px.com

Calling by Ryuichi Noguchi on 500px.com

Go out and try this technique today! And then upload your results to 500px and share a link in the comments. Show the community what you’ve got!