While every photographer would love to capture the perfect image with every shot, it’s just not realistic. Make sure your Camera Calibration is set to Camera Flat or Camera Neutral, instead of using the presets. Grain can be smoothed out by going into the Details tab and adding Noise Reduction on the Luminance channel.
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We are always looking for more interesting and insightful photography tips and techniques to share with our readers. Long exposure photography has become very popular in the last couple of years, getting a lot of coverage in landscape photography magazines and on photo sharing websites. With the ever-increasing number of options for 10-stop neutral density (ND) filters on the market, there has never been a better time to give it a go.
However, taking photographs when using such high-density filters gives rise to a set of problems that you may not have previously considered, so this article is intended to give a few useful tips that I have picked up since starting my journey learning about long exposure photography. Whilst this is the reason that you get silky smooth water or clouds rushing across the sky, it is also the reason why your workflow will need to be adapted to overcome issues as a result of the huge reduction in light. Tip 1: Whilst a tripod is considered a baseline requirement for many landscape photographers, it is even more important when shooting with a 10-stop filter.
You will often read that people recommend hanging your camera bag from the tripod to add ballast weight, however I think that it can often act as a large sail and cause greater instability if windy, so I instead tend to place a beanbag (full of uncooked rice) on top of the camera to add extra weight, without significant additional surface area. Tip 2: Given that the filter is incredibly dense, unless the conditions are really bright, there will not be enough light getting through to allow the autofocus to function. Tip 3: It is important to close the viewfinder shutter, or at least cover the viewfinder, to ensure accurate light metering (if shooting in an automatic exposure mode, such as aperture priority) and to prevent stray light from sneaking in during the exposure.
You will most likely need a remote shutter release cable so that you can lock the shutter open for a given period of time (it’s a good idea to attach the remote release to the tripod using Velcro during the exposure, again to stop it from catching the wind and swinging around). Tip 6: Even at low ISO, super long exposures can introduce noise in the form of hot pixels. An effective way to remove them is to take an exposure of identical length, at the same ISO, with the lens cap on.
Whilst I have discussed quite a few additional points to consider when taking long exposures with high-density ND filters, you soon learn to adapt them into your own work pattern that becomes routine. Neglecting to add relevant commentary to a thread whilst correcting a person’s grammer is the equivalent of trolling. Careful consideration to this process is imperative since your exposure quantity is greatly reduced under the same period of time using shorter shutter type photography.
It is a good witting article.Becouse is photographic article, it should content more photos. Overly windy conditions could potentially ruin the shot (depending on your exposure time) despite your best efforts to securely anchor the camera in place.
I’m having a lot of troubles with the exposure burns while shooting with long exposures. Long exposure photography is often discussed in terms of natural landscapes, milky seas, waterfalls, clouds.
I am heading to Bali in 4 days and I am going to be trying my first Long Exposure’s in the field.

Hi, this may sound stupid but I am just curious; Is there a way to take a long exposure shot if you are the one moving and your subject is standing still? There is a Cherry-Almond Smoothie in the book will be Gaga s dangerous zone dieting habits. It sounds like you didn't have a strong enough graduated filter on your sky to tone down the highlights. The problem then becomes whether you have (or can even get) a strong enough ND grad for the exposure range.
For myself I have barely looked at Photoshop since I started shooting RAW and "developing" my images in Lightroom. Remember, there was a reason you took the photo; something in the photo had to have caught your attention. This tool will allow you to target the exact tonal ranges you want to adjust, helping to add that extra punch and contrast you’re looking for.
This creates a nice dark ring around the edges of your image, helping to pull your viewer’s eye to the center of the image. We were able to negotiate a 65% discount for our readers which ends soon ($51 down from $147), simply remember to use the promo code picturecorrect65 at checkout. It may not display this or other websites correctly.You should upgrade or use an alternative browser. I took a bunch without but had to do some sneaky movementy to get close to em so i liked this cuz i had to put in extra effort to get it.
Exposures can easily extend to greater than a couple of minutes, so it is vital that your tripod is as sturdy as can be. Therefore, it is best to compose and focus your shot without the filter, switch to manual focus and then carefully attach the filter.
I’m not sure how critical the second point is but given how much the auto-metering is affected by the open viewfinder, I no longer take the chance so ensure it is closed before taking my shot. Ideal conditions for long exposure photography are when there is dappled cloud and a strong wind (see Tip 1). The hot pixels will be identical in all shots, almost like a finger print of your sensor, so by replicating the exposure with the lens cap on, you will generate an entirely black image, with the same hot pixels, to subtract away from your chosen image during post-processing.
This is a great reason (one of many) to shoot in RAW, as the colour casts can often be corrected during post-processing. In fact, the you will probably be even more frustrated at the resulting photograph given the additional effort required to take and process it. I find that taking long exposures often requires more planning, thought and processing than with my other photography, however the results can be breathtaking and are often worth it.
Elliot loves being outdoors with his camera, and is always looking to improve his own photography and share what he has learnt with others. Then the camera does it all automatically and you don’t need to take 2 shots and subtract manually. Even with camera and largest tele on the tripod there’s still over 5 kilos of stuff left in my bag and it doesnt flap in the wind. I use a bungee cord tautly fastened to the tripod hook and a weighted camera bag placed firmly on the ground.
I obtained my first ND filter set earlier week and had been following some tutorials, and after playing with some settings had switched off the built in Noise Reduction on my camera without realising it.

You are the first person in any of the Long Exposure articles I read to talk about the Hot Pixel issue and your solution, which made me realise it was turning off my camera’s Noise Reduction setting that caused it to start happening in the first place. When I change it back to Bulb mode while the Information screen isn’t up, it just changes the light of the subject, and I end up taking a picture of nothing but a white screen. With no filters in place measure the foreground exposure only by angling your camera to exclude sky from the viewfinder.
Set your camera to use spot metering and, keeping the same ISO and aperture settings, pick a point in the sky that you want to be properly exposed and note the shutter speed given by your camera..
From the difference in indicated shutter speed you can then calculate how many stops your ND Grad needs to be to tone down your sky. Shoot multiple exposures and use HDR software or blending techniques in Photoshop to combine the images. The holder is attached to the adaptor via a clip and what you should do is just pulling out that clip. Using Adobe Lightroom or other photo editing software, you can perfect your images to fit your artistic idea.
By moving to the right, you can strengthen the adjustment; by moving to the left, you will weaken it.
With the birds, you add foreground interest, an additional layer to look through and it sets thus shot apart from other similar skylines. This typically means ensuring that the legs are stood on firm ground, the centre column is not extended and the strap is secured so not to catch the wind. Sometimes, for particularly long exposures, it may just irreversibly compromise an image and, in those instances, a black and white conversion is often the best way to overcome it.
The purpose of taking a second photo with the lens cap off, is to produce a photo in which no actual light is reaching the sensor. Afterwards I found all these maddening little bright colour pixels throughout my photos which I was unable to filter out with Lightroom. I don’t know much about Digital Photography and I asked google but still have not had my question answered.
If you take apart (there is a metal ring that unscrews from the frame of the filter that holds the glass in) one of the filters and flip the glass then put it back together, you can stack the filters and have a cheap but very useful variable ND filter.
As hot pixels are not related to optics, the noise will still show up, allowing it to be easily isolated and dealt with. After many Google searches I gave up on trying to find the reason as to why it was occurring as no one was talking about the issue. This is very useful, as you can compose and focus the shot, then turn the filter to darken it.
I suggest using shutter speed as the basis of measurement as there is a wider range of stop settings with that option than keeping shutter speed constant and changing the aperture.
The down side is that you may need to take a few shots before you get the correct length of exposure and you will want to shoot in raw as you will likely find you need to correct for color a little.

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