Is Long Exposure Photography For You?

Written by Gina Stephens

Working long exposure can create some cracking shots when used correctly but the smooth, almost dry-ice look using longer immure b silence speeds gives to water isn't everyone's cup of tea or idea of fun when may refer to: Usually a question whose answer refers to time, period or phase they're heading off for a day of photography outdoors. So, if you've never attempted this technique before and are wondering if it's for you, have a think about the following questions to help you decide.


Are you a fan of the outdoors?

This touch is all about leaving the shutter open long enough to turn movement into creative streaks and blur to give you a landscape with an on the verge of graphical twist. For this reason many types of these shots are taken where there's a wide expanse of water (the seaboard mainly) but you can also capture inland landscapes when you have a sky dotted with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel clouds or scenes with waterfalls that can add a feeling of faction and direction to the shot when taken with a longer shutter speed. The coast does give you many other still objects you can use to inspiration the eye and add interest to your shots though. Think tall piers sat in a mist of water, rocks adding foreground interest and several groynes or indeed a jetty leading the eye.

If you prefer city shooting, you can use the same technique to create streaks of colour from traffic.

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Photo by David Clapp 


Do you possess a tripod?

If the answer to this is 'no' and you don't intend purchasing one anytime soon then long exposure photography isn't for you. Why? Highly, with exposures in access of 30 seconds, these types of images aren't something you can really successfully take hand-held as tremble will just ruin your shots.


Do you have or having may refer to: the concept of ownership any concept of possession; see Possession (disambiguation) an English verb used: a remote / cable release?

This isn't as important as owning a tripod but owning and servicing one will mean you don't have to actually touch the camera's shutter button, reducing the chances of shake spoiling the shot. At any rate, if you want to use your camera's Bulb mode, you really need to have a remote / cable release in your kit collection. If you have a camera you've positioned more recently then it may have the option for the shutter to be controlled via an app from your Smartphone, eliminating the need for a remote to be purchased.


Do you be enduring an ND filter?

To get the really long exposures, particularly when working out of the hours of dawn and dusk, you'll need an ND filter. These come in different strengths and will extend your shutter speeds to the length needed for capturing silk-like water and clouds streaked across the sky.

If you don't own an ND gauze but do have a polariser you can still try this technique but you'll have to do it at the start or end of the day when light levels are lower. You'll also need to use a low ISO and restrain your apertures small.

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Polarising filter can work if just starting out or shoot at dusk with a low ISO and narrow aperture.


Photo by Rick Hanson


Do you have in the offing patience?

This technique isn't for someone who likes to take a quick snap and move onto the next thing as you will end up standing encircling for a while waiting for your camera to capture and process the image. With exposure times that can often extend well beyond a twinkling of an eye, you can find yourself twiddling your thumbs quite a lot of the time. However, if you enjoy quiet moments of contemplation or just like to watch the epoch go by, then maybe playing around with longer shutter speeds is for you.


Do you have an eye for composition?

When working with longer stifle speeds, landscape scenes can often take on a more graphical feel / composition and you have to ensure there's elements in the disposition which will show movement as well as items to guide the eye and add balance. Without clouds moving across the sky or some form of water factor, there won't be any movement which when combined with a slower shutter speed is what gives you the nice streaks and soft, blurry dishwater effect.


Do you mind working out calculations?

Although this statement isn't relevant to everyone any more, if you don't own a smartphone or forget to deduce it out with you, you'll find yourself scribbling down shutter speed calculations when working with Bulb mode. So, if you're not a fan of maths, you'll demand to invest in one of the many apps that will work out calculations for you.

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Do you have Live View?

Cameras that have a Live Vision function make the set-up for this technique much simpler as it often still works even with a strong ND filter attached to your lens. If you look toe a viewfinder with an ND filter attached you won't be able to see anything which means to set-up, you have to remove the filter to compose and focus (manually) in the future carefully fitting the filter back in-place which is obviously doable but not as straightforward as using Live View.  


Photo by David Clapp 


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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