Long expo­sure is used in pho­tog­ra­phy for var­i­ous pur­pos­es. It can help build expo­sure when shoot­ing at night, or it can be used to cre­ate spe­cial effects in pho­tog­ra­phy, for exam­ple, to show the con­trast between the rapid move­ment of objects around one sta­t­ic one. We’ve put togeth­er some help­ful tips to help you get the effect you want when shoot­ing at slow shut­ter speeds.

Tripod anytime, anywhere

Long expo­sure is not pos­si­ble with­out the use of a tri­pod. In the few sec­onds that pass between the click and the end of the shoot­ing, the cam­era must be in a com­plete­ly sta­t­ic posi­tion. This means that even the occa­sion­al vibra­tion caused by inhal­ing or trem­bling in the hands can affect the entire frame. There­fore, when shoot­ing at a slow shut­ter speed, we mount the cam­era on a tri­pod, and use the remote con­trol to press the but­ton. Yes, yes, because even vibra­tion when pressed gives a neg­a­tive effect. This means that you def­i­nite­ly need to stock up on a high-qual­i­ty and most impor­tant­ly, sta­ble tri­pod.

Some pros rec­om­mend adding extra weight to the tri­pod. Even such items as sand­bags are used, all this so that the cam­era does not flinch when shoot­ing.

The Sirui ET-2204+E‑20 tri­pod is ide­al for long expo­sure pho­tog­ra­phy. Large and sta­ble, it is made of car­bon fiber and pro­tect­ed from rust and weath­er con­di­tions. Con­ve­nient legs allow you to install this tri­pod on any sur­face and secure­ly place the cam­era on it. The max­i­mum load is 12 kg and the max­i­mum work­ing height when using the cen­tral shaft is 145 cm. The E‑20 mul­ti­func­tion­al ball head is also includ­ed in the kit.


Of course, in order to suc­cess­ful­ly shoot a shot on the street, you need to take into account the weath­er con­di­tions. Whether you want to shoot long expo­sure waves, snow, or even mov­ing car lights, you always need to know what kind of weath­er (at least rough­ly) awaits you on loca­tion. It will be dif­fi­cult to shoot such shots in rainy weath­er, in a cloud­less sky, or in bright light. As with any shoot, it’s worth research­ing the area you plan to shoot in advance. This will give you an idea of ​​what kind of weath­er you should expect and how the cam­era will behave in the avail­able light. This is espe­cial­ly true for shoot­ing water: beach­es, water­falls, rivers.

Build your composition in advance

Anoth­er rea­son to research a loca­tion before film­ing is to be able to com­pose the com­po­si­tion ahead of time. Choose the exact shoot­ing point and view, and then imag­ine exact­ly how you see the frame. You will have to take into account all the details, and look not only at those ele­ments that inter­est you in the frame, but also at the sur­round­ing objects. This will help you to most suc­cess­ful­ly inte­grate a long expo­sure into a reg­u­lar land­scape pho­to.


When shoot­ing, it is very impor­tant not to lose focus on a sta­t­ic sub­ject. You can fix it man­u­al­ly or, if you shoot in aut­o­fo­cus mode, you need to press the shut­ter but­ton all the way. And at this point it is espe­cial­ly impor­tant to catch the pos­si­ble pres­ence of light leaks. Leaks must be iso­lat­ed to pre­vent arti­facts. For this, by the way, Canon cam­era straps have a spe­cial rub­ber ele­ment. And if you use a dif­fer­ent cam­era, then you can cre­ate an ana­logue of this ele­ment from impro­vised mate­ri­als, for exam­ple, you can use black elec­tri­cal tape.

Even small glare can spoil the frame, so you need to be very care­ful with their iso­la­tion. To do this, a hood will also come to the res­cue, which can be select­ed depend­ing on the diam­e­ter of the lens and its char­ac­ter­is­tics. Fuji­mi offers many dif­fer­ent mod­els, includ­ing the Fuji­mi FBET-74 for the Canon EF 70–200mm f/4.0L, the FBEW-73C for the Canon EF‑S 10–18mm f/4.5–5.6 IS STM, and more.


Whether you’re shoot­ing at night or dur­ing the day, it’s cru­cial to keep track of all the lights and see if you can use them. How much light will be avail­able to you when shoot­ing, what light sources will enter the frame and affect its con­struc­tion, etc. These are the ques­tions you should ask your­self before tak­ing the cov­et­ed shot. At night, this is espe­cial­ly impor­tant, because you have to work in dif­fi­cult con­di­tions and you nev­er know exact­ly how the cam­era can behave in com­bi­na­tion with one or anoth­er light source.

test frames

A test frame is always impor­tant, espe­cial­ly when all the hard­ware is already installed. The cam­era must be in man­u­al mode (M) with Aper­ture Pri­or­i­ty. Accord­ing­ly, depend­ing on your idea, the aper­ture is also set. In order to select the ide­al set­tings, you will have to shoot sev­er­al text frames and care­ful­ly eval­u­ate their results. If they are close to what you intend­ed, then the set­tings are right for you.


A Neu­tral Gray (ND) fil­ter is often used when shoot­ing at slow shut­ter speeds. You need to choose the appro­pri­ate fil­ter sole­ly based on the result you would like to achieve. Be sure to remem­ber that a strong fil­ter (for 8–10 steps) will not allow you to use the Live View mode, that is, the task will become more com­pli­cat­ed, although the cam­era itself will see every­thing per­fect­ly. The ben­e­fits of such a fil­ter will be clear­ly vis­i­ble in the fin­ished pho­to, it reduces the amount of light that hits the cam­era matrix.

Fil­ters should be cho­sen depend­ing on the diam­e­ter of the lens, so the Polaroid Fad­er ND fil­ter (2–400) is suit­able for a diam­e­ter of 72mm, and is able to reduce light by 1–9 stops. Thus, this fil­ter can be used just for shoot­ing at slow shut­ter speeds.

In addi­tion to it, oth­er fil­ters can be used: polar­iz­ing, ultra­vi­o­let, etc. In the Polaroid mod­el line, you can find any fil­ter for any pur­pose.


Before tak­ing a pic­ture, do not for­get to move the cam­era to B (Bulb) mode — bulb expo­sure mode. This mode will allow you to keep the shut­ter open for more than 60 sec­onds, and you can set any shut­ter speed. The rest of the set­tings can­not be changed. Start prac­tic­ing with slow shut­ter speeds and grad­u­al­ly, you will learn how to shoot styl­ish shots at slow shut­ter speeds with all the avail­able effects.

The last thing we can rec­om­mend is to shoot as much as pos­si­ble, because only in this way, soon­er or lat­er, you can final­ly reach the goal and learn how to trans­fer what you see to the cam­er­a’s matrix.


От Yara

Добавить комментарий