For shutter speeds longer than 30 seconds there is the Option on all Alpha cameras to use BULB mode. This is often used when shooting at night, or when using Neutral Density filters, where exposures longer than 30 seconds are needed. With BULB mode and a remote release you can control when, and how long, to open and close the shutter (a second hand on a clock or watch is useful for timing your exposure).
A popular question that will often appear on Alpha forums, however, is ‘where is my BULB” setting or ‘I don’t appear to have a BULB setting’, i.e. Nothing appears after the 30 second exposure setting. So where has it gone? The answer usually lies in your Drive Mode settings. Switch from Continuous Shooting (or Bracket mode) to Single Shooting and set the Exposure Mode to Manual and the BULB will make a magical reappearance. Problem Solved 🙂
Note > Silent Shooting mode (if available) will also send the BULB option running for cover.