Long Exposure Photographs


Long exposure photographs are art. Legit art. So producing those does take quite a lot of skills but fear not! It's more fun-ish than hellish. Buut before that you might want to check out the article on basics here (Beginner Alert).

Starting form — Things you need to take a long exposure photograph. You need a stand. Preferably a tripod or some other rigid surface that does not move and keeps you camera safe all the same time. Don't even bother with the stack of objects. That shit is dangerous. Now you need this because you will be working with a very long shutter speed. You can't shoot those with bare hands because your hand movement, even the slightest one, will ruin the photo. It does. Try it. You are not made of stone, it's true. Second, you need patience. Yes that is right. Now a long exposure photographs are taken of objects that are moving. That needs a particular scene fit for a long exposure and above all that needs the light conditions that compliment your settings. For all these things you need patience. Go to the scene where you see just enough motion to create something dramatic out of it. Once you hunt that down, you are partly ready.

Next thing — Settings. These settings depend on the time you are going to shoot something. Is it night or is it the day?

It's a great thing if its night because your gear would be enough for you. Now you need to know how much light your gear is going to get exposed to. The night time (less light) compliments the long exposure photographs. You see a shutter speed of a more than a 1 second is A LOT of light. So, it loves nights. Now when you analyse the condition (take a few test shots to find out yourself), you need to adjust the settings.

These are the settings you need;

 • A Long Shutter Speed
Of course. Long shutter speed or what's the point? You might want to increase it based on the speed of the object you are shooting. If it's a car, a 1 second S.S will do. If it's humans walking, you might want to increase it to a 3 seconds, because the motion will be slow.

 • More Depth
Yes, you need depth in your photo. Bokeh is not for a long exposure and guess what? that goes just right with a longer shutter speed as well. You decrease the lens aperture (f/22 or more), less light gets captured and for a longer period of time (long shutter speed) and voila! a masterpiece in making.

• A Filter (Optional: For Daylight only)
Try shooting a long exposure during the daytime. Hint: You'll get a white image. Yes, of course you will. Daylight does not go well with long exposure because there is practically WAY TOO MUCH light. Increasing aperture won't work here either. So why do you still see stunning long exposure shots at daytime? One word: Filters. Yes, lens do have filters. You buy them separately but they are there and for a good reason too.

There are many filters in market. Many. The one you need for Long exposure in the daylights is an ND Filter (Neutral Density Filter). There are several types of ND filter too like a graduated or split ND filter. You can use either, read some reviews before buying. These are used to compensate with light, of course, so you won't get a white photo now, shooting some stream or cloud movement or anything during the daytime. It's a good investment nonetheless, if you are into that sort of thing. 

That is all folks, for now.

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