Long Exposure Photography
Long exposure photography is an essential element of advanced photography that you must learn if you want to improve as a professional or even as an amateur. There are some scenarios where point and shoot technique simply fails and therefore, you will never be able to take the perfect picture of the night sky with your compact camera.
There are situations where the only solution to take stunning photographs is presented by long exposure photography. We are not talking about those 1 second shots either. These are the shots that will require patience, a tripod and an open area.
Imagine the hustle of a city at late evening! This is a scene that simply cannot be recorded in the normal manner because it would not be able to show the movements and the flickering of the lights. A video on the other hand will not have the artistry that shows a command of the photographer over the difficult elements of the night shooting environment. You require a long exposure shot that has a length of several minutes.
Some photographers are so keen on these shots that they are willing to take photos that are taken by exposing the camera for an hour or more time. You will require a DSLR for this though, with exceptional running battery time as well as the placement in an area which is left undisturbed for that period. You will find amazing photos.
You need to give this technique a try if you are especially interested in shooting at night. It gives an amazing perspective of city life and can also create beautiful rings of light when the sky is shot using this technique. You will often have to find the way to take a long expose shot in your camera. This technique requires you to work completely in the manual mode for best results.
You can change all the options in the manual mode and you have to select the camera shutter which is generally presented as an S. Expert photographers also know the amount of time to give to different settings and we are also sharing here, based on the experiences of a few experts.
Water based shots can be greatly improved with exposures of a few seconds. You will be able to get a good shot because water moves relatively slowly and in a fixed pattern, allowing for an excellent photo with an exposure of 1 second to 5 seconds.
If you want to shoot a street filled with moving cars, then you need to extend the exposure time to around 30 seconds. You should find a good vantage point though, which allows you to place the movements across your frame. This will ensure that your long exposures will result in more defined objects and lighting effects.
You should always implement a neutral density filter with your lens, if you plan to take a long exposure photo in the day time to control the amount of the available light to a manageable level. Otherwise, all you will see is white in the photo with everything illuminated with no objects in true focus. It is also wise to not increase the aperture size though, because larger aperture sizes ruin the picture with degraded sharpness.
You need to use a shutter release device because you cannot expect to press the shutter release button for 30 minutes. You may even find it hard to do it for 30 seconds. A remote release cable works ideally in this manner and you need to spend part of your resources to get a release mechanism. This will help you in taking the best long exposure photos.
A perfect shot will be composed of a long shutter time of 30 seconds or more. This will be backed up by using a 2 stop ND filter if shooting in strong daylight. ISO 100 setting will be ideal with f/10 the aperture for most long exposure shots. A longer shutter time should be matched with a smaller aperture as well as increased stops on the filter.