I’ve always loved long exposure photography. Since I first started taking pictures. I’d say it’s one of my strengths as a photographer.
From time to time I get the question: how do you do it?
Of course, anyone can take long exposure pictures. You just set your shutter speed to a very low value, and that’s it. But it’s not that simple.
Most amateur photographers start using long exposure when they want to take good pictures at night. We’ve all been there. There’s not enough light, everything looks blurry, you don’t know what to do.
Yes, long exposure is extremely useful in a dark scenario. But there’s much more to it.
I’m gonna state the obvious: if you want to take long exposure photos, you’ll need a tripod and a remote or cable release. There’s no way around it.
Next, you should buy a neutral density (ND) filter. A ND filter will block the light, allowing only few photons to get to your lens. This way, you can take long exposure photos during the day, just as you would during the night.
But using a ND filter is a bit tricky. Here a some tips you should keep in mind:
You won’t be able to focus with the filter. Instead, choose your composition and set your focus without the filter, then switch to manual focus, and attach the filter. Be careful not to move the lens.
If you want exposures of more than 60 seconds, you want to use the BULB mode on your camera. This will allow you to leave your shutter open for as long as you want.
Shoot in RAW. Sadly, no neutral density filter is actually neutral. There will always be some color cast on the image. By shooting RAW you’ll be able to correct this in post-processing.
And that’s it. With these tips you’ll get beautiful daytime long exposure photos. Now get out there and start shooting.