A few weeks ago, I have written a post about long exposure photography explaining the basics of this technique. A fellow reader has asked me to write also a post about day long exposure…So here it goes!
What you need
- A camera with manual settings, in order to be able to set the shutter speed and the aperture on your own. Mine is the Nikon D700, an amazing piece of equipment.
- A tripod. Totally necessary. If you do not own one, try this alternative; Put the camera in a sturdy spot, like a wall or a column and try to frame your subject. It may sounds hard, but it is not. I have done it and I came up with a really great picture! You will see the pic below. I own a really nice and well built and sturdy tripod. I am very happy with its quality and it is always with me when I go out for photography.
- It is preferable to have a wide angle lens. Landscape photography calls for this kind of lenses, in order to capture a vast amount of information of the scenery. It is not mandatory, but the outcome will be way better using a lens like this. I own a Sigma which I use most of the times.
- Last but not least. Neutral Density filter. Absolutely MUST for day long exposure photography. If you do not have it, you can not take these photos. I have this one which I have used in all the photos you will see here.
- (Optional). Remote shutter release. This is a control attached to your camera which allows you to have the shutter opened for a period of time more than 30 seconds, which is the maximum time that every camera has. I do not own yet one of that, so my photos have a maximum shutter speed of 30 secs.
Some explaining, please?
Let me clarify with a few words what is the neutral density filter. It is a piece of glass that it is attached to the front end of the lens, like a normal UV filter. What does it do? It blocks a certain amount of light by entering the lens. In simple words, that means that you can increase the time your shutter stays open and your camera gathers light without overexposing your photo! Sounds cool? IT IS SUPER COOL 🙂
The above photo was taken during noon when the sun was super bright. With the use of the filter, I had this photo as result. Check out the creamy effect of the wave and the feeling of movement in the clouds. What do you think?
The above photo was taken in the afternoon with my filter on. I had the shutter up for 30 secs. Look how the clouds are “moving”. This is it!
In the below photo I set my camera on a low point, almost in the level of the sea. The shutter time was at 8 secs. Again, I used my filter
And what about the settings?
I am going to be very simple in my words. When I take landscape photos, I use an aperture of about f/8 going down to f/13 or maybe more. My White Balance is most of the times set in the Auto as I can change it later in my editing. As I always use my tripod I set slow shutter speed.
MOST IMPORTANT: FOCUS SETTINGS
This could be a tricky one. As soon as you put the filter on your lens, everything goes dark. The camera can not focus and it will be on the hunt for the focus spots. What to do? It is so easy…
Focus on the spot you wish. When you are happy with the focusing, change to manual focus. Carefully and without touching the lens too much, apply the filter to the lens. Done! Now the focus will remain in the same spot like you set it! Super easy, right?
Which is the best picture you have ever taken during your trips?