Long Exposure Photography Guide
My favorite part of landscape photography is indeed the Long Exposure, or otherwise how to control your shutter speed in order to obtain a more aesthetic result. There is a piece of calmness coming out of this kind of photography. It is not easy at all. There are many tricky parts you have to avoid.
Let’s see some easy things you can do in order to get instant good results and some more thing (as equipment) that you have to invest into.
Long exposure, day-time exposure, or shutter speed slow-motion photography is when using a long duration shutter speed to carefully capture the most stationary parts of an image while blurring, temporarily smearing, or otherwise obscuring the action. This type of photography is often referred to as exposure photography because it requires the greatest creative control and patience. Capturing moving objects is usually very difficult in this category of photography because the action is usually far away from the camera. Shutter speed and aperture also need to be controlled very carefully in order to get a clear and natural result. It can often be frustrating to capture movement with the camera but must be done if the exposure is not perfect.
Day time long exposure photography usually refers to images of stars, city lights, or landscapes taken during the day. To obtain this effect, the camera is left on at its maximum aperture for the entire day, allowing the camera to record thousands of photos in a long exposure. The camera is then placed in a dark room for the night-time photographs, which eliminate the need for photo processing during the dark hours. These types of exposures are usually more time consuming than those taken at dusk and dawn, and require more careful lighting and composition.
Cloudy exposures are another popular long exposure photography theme because they can provide striking images of cityscapes, fireworks, or even landscape scenery. Cloudy skies are a beautiful natural occurrence and can be used to their fullest effect in digital photography. The easiest way to create cloud photos with digital cameras is to photograph the clouds from a tripod in the sunlight. Taking the shot from an obstructed spot will increase the depth of field and allow for cleaner pictures.
Many people are interested in taking pictures of stars but lack the long exposure necessary to obtain the desired results. If you're one of these people, don't give up because there are still options available for you. A common problem with starry long exposures is that the exposures are often too long. The problem is that trying to expose the picture using the fastest shutter speed possible will most likely not give you a good result. Star trails can also be difficult to get started because they are usually very flat. Digital photographers can often use ND filters to soften the image and create a more interesting background.
This is a technique that has been around for decades, but some photographers still prefer to take pictures using the traditional techniques. The first thing to do is to set the shutter speed and f-stop (depth of field) to your desired levels. Then use your camera's basic settings and focus the camera on a nearby object. After you have focused the camera on your target, make sure to check the image meter and see if your image is still in focus. If it is not, adjust the image-meter settings until your focus is sharp.
One of the benefits of using the digital approach to long exposure photography is that you don't have to wait for the sun to go down in order to capture an interesting photograph. If you are photographing during the daytime, your camera will be automatically set to expose for the brightest day. However, you will still need to adjust the aperture and shutter speed accordingly. There is also no need to worry about getting a good exposure unless you are photographing moving objects like cars or airplanes. The reason is that you will likely be using the manual aperture mode which allows you to determine the minimum and maximum aperture for your pictures depending on what you want the final image to look like.
Another common problem for photographers using long exposure photography is that they try to compose their photographs so that everything is in focus. Unfortunately, if there are several objects in the scene, this can make the photograph look flat and boring. When you are photographing a scene with multiple moving objects, you should turn off your auto-focus and turn off the flash. This will allow you to concentrate on taking pictures instead of adjusting the focus.
It's also important to remember that long exposures require you to use different settings. You will need to learn how to compose the scene in order to get the best out of your pictures. Remember that the rule of thirds tells us that you should divide your photos into four sections: the center, the left, the right and the background. You should also experiment with different long exposures. The experimentation and trial and error are the only way to learn how to take great long exposures.
What we need to get Long Exposure Photos ?
First we need a Manual Focus Camera, a Sturdy Tripod, Remote shutter release and ND Filters.
How to Scout the Location For Perfect Long Exposure Photography
When scout for a perfect location, or look online, always have long exposure photography on your mind. You may be able to take pictures of subject matter you would not otherwise, but wouldn't expect to see anywhere else. Often enough you will discover a location you would not have thought to photograph, and that is what is great about it. You get to scout the location and take shots wherever and whenever you feel like doing it. You have to know when and where to locate an element that goes at a decent speed.
The next most important thing is composition. You have to use the right focal length and compose the picture with the right amount of depth and width in your frame. This is just as important as the actual exposure settings on your camera. You can always make adjustments in the composition, such as having your camera on manual focus if you need to, but if you want to avoid having your pictures blown out because of your composition then do not make any adjustments in the focusing. If you are having troubles with this, then you should scout the location for another angle to take a long exposure photography.
The last thing you need to scout is using Google Maps. You can download the free google maps application from their website to help you scout the location for the perfect photograph. You will want to set up your Google map software to show you all of the open and available roads so you know how far you are to drive to get there. You will also want to set up the location to show you all the main sights and points of interest, such as hiking trails, mountain peaks, waterfalls and lakes, etc, as well as the distance to each of these points.
Using a Good Neutral Density Filter on Your Camera
The first thing you should know about using a Neutral Density Filter with long exposure photography is that it has two settings - one for long exposure photography, and one for short-exposure photography. A photo filter with a long exposure is just what its name implies, a filter that reduces the amount of bright light that reaches your camera's sensor. This helps reduce the appearance of streaks and allows your photos to have a more realistic look and feel. If you want a very dark look, simply increase the Neutral Density setting - the darker your photograph will be.
The second thing that you need to know about these filters is that they are relatively easy to install, and the most common type is a small, permanent fixture that can easily be screwed onto the front of your camera lens. For those of you with a digital SLR, you can replace these filters in less than 30 seconds. However, if your camera has an interchangeable lens, or if you are planning to shoot your images using an SLR camera which does not have a preinstalled filter, you may need to disassemble the lens in order to install the new one. With these filters, the most difficult task is simply removing them from their packaging. Once you've successfully removed them, you'll see a plastic tab that states "mounting not recommended". Simply remove this, and your job is done!
When using these filters on a Canon camera, you will notice that they tend to produce a slightly warmer image than normal, and also tend to eliminate some of the color cast issues commonly experienced with standard point and shoots. There are a few other reasons why you might consider using a neutral density filter on your camera - including improving colors and removing some of the haziness created by automatic processing - but for truly objective uses with your camera, you'll be better off using standard, non ND filters. For more information on purchasing and using neutral Density filters, as well as other types of filters for digital cameras, please visit the links below.
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