Tips for Long Exposure Photography

Tips for Long Exposure Photography

Hey, everybody! Today we are going to talk about long exposure photography techniques and how to get a good result with them.

What is it: Long exposure photography is a technique that you can use for different type of pictures. You can make very beautiful nature shots, with this technique that have a very calm vibe to them, but that’s not the only place you can use it. (look at the examples down below to get a good idea)
The secret behind it is to use a long exposure (who would have thought of that) and a very dark filter (ND filter) on the camera lens, to keep the picture from overexposure. Beside that, we need a tripod and a Camera remote shutter release, to program the shutter time we want (you can program your DSLR only to 30 sec. without it) ND Filter

  • Camera
  • Tripod: a very steady one will improve the picture a lot
  • Remote shutter release (to use your camera in bulb mode).
  • A variable ND Filter (so you don’t need many different strong filters)
  • A little bit of time and patience. πŸ™‚
  • (optional) a light or steel wool.

Examples of a different technique.

  1. You can make a very beautiful night sky pictures. (because of the long exposure).take long exposure photography

ISO: Keep your iso as low as possible to have a beautiful noise free image.

Tripod: Your tripod and the way you set it up is extremely important to get a steady picture. If you don’t have one and think about getting one for this, you should invest around 100$ because the cheap tripods are not 100% steady in the wind. Why is this so important? When we have the shutter open and the camera makes a move, you going to have a move over the whole picture.

2.Β  You can also use this technique to get moving objects/subjects disappear in your long exposure photography Practice: Don’t give up when trying to make a good photo just try again and you will be better until you got the picture you want.

3. You can make trails of light with any kind of light.

long exposure photography techniques
Burning Steel Wool.

Motion: It looks almost always very interesting when you have some kind of motion in the picture. Fire, water, clouds, trees, people and so on.

4. You can make very smooth landscape pictures.long exposure photography settings Focus: Set the focus at the object you want to take a picture of first and then put the filter on the camera. If you have the filter on before you do that, you cannot focus very well.

Preparation: If you have decided what type of long exposure picture you want to make, get all the things you need for the picture and find the right location for it. Preparation is everything.

Calculate the shutter time: Calculate your exposure time, you can do this manually or just use the free app ND Calc or ND Filter Calc (DSLR) to calculate it.

Be Creative: You can start by using some of the in the pictures displayed techniques, but there are so much more ways to use the long exposure that is all worth being tried and mixed up. Just be creative.

I hope this little post was interesting, helpful and inspiring for you. If you have any questions or opinions, ask me. I will answer you in no time.

Cheers Aaron. πŸ™‚


10 thoughts on “Tips for Long Exposure Photography

  1. Chays

    I stumbled onto your website looking for a real camera unlike the one I also make phone calls on, lol, and all I can say is WOW! Truly breathtaking images Aaron!
    I agree on the end of Canon.. it is all around a great brand, that was my last camera as a matter of fact and one of my favorites along with an old Nikon. Your website is in my favorites so I can follow your photography.. Just beautiful and inspiring!

    1. Aaron

      Hey Chays, I am glad you came across my site and I am super happy to have you here πŸ˜€ I hope you found a camera that doesn’t has a phone on it πŸ˜› If you have any questions ask me any time πŸ™‚

  2. Jackie

    I’m really happy to have happened on your website since photography something I have interest in learning. These are great tips (and very well laid out) to understand long exposure photography. I’m going to come back and spend more time on your site. I just wanted to say hey and tell you ‘nice job’! Thanks and be well!

    1. Aaron

      Hey thank you Jackie, I am glad you happened on my site πŸ™‚ plus you like my content πŸ™‚ I am more than happy to have you back on my site. If you have any question to any topic you want to know more about just ask me πŸ™‚ I will get back at you in no time. πŸ™‚

  3. Craig

    Photography is such an amazing hobby to get into. I have wanted to do so for many years but have never really found the time.

    I am really interested in capturing motion in photographs. I really like the way they look. How do I go about creating this in my own photos?

    1. Aaron

      Hey Craig, to create this look you just need a long exposure (over 30sec.)and a very steady tripod so the camera can see all the motions the longer your exposure is the smoother will the moving object be.

  4. Kristian

    My kids love to take photos of anything and everything, but the quality of the images is always quite poor due to the fact that the camera that they use is normally an “add-on” to another electronic device.

    Do you have any suggestions for a good quality camera for kids for under $100 that will help them to take some better photographs?

    1. Aaron

      Hey Kristian, for your kids I would try this one it is a pretty robust camera and super simple to use camera. cost 58$ the picture quality is not compareble to a dslr but good and the kids of my brother are super happy with it. πŸ™‚

  5. Mat

    I came across your site today looking for information on how to take those long exposure photos you see. I’ve tried some light painting using my phone, but now given your advice here, I’m going to test it out with my Canon 500D.

    One question I wanted to ask though, can any dslr use a remote shutter? I have not really looked into it.


    1. Aaron

      Hey Mat, yes they can. πŸ™‚ but before you buy one make sure it fits to your camera. πŸ™‚

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