Long shutter speeds

My 2nd blog is about long exposures or "Long Exposures", this is one of my favorite techniques.


With this style you can create a kind of surreal photo where all the moving parts of your photo will look different from what they really are. This effect (motion blur) is usually not something you are waiting for, after all, you also want to see moving parts sharply in your photo. A car driving past should not be wiped, a dog running towards you, you want to capture all the details and not see a blurry dog. So in most cases you want to work with as short a shutter speed as possible to get as close as possible to (freezing) as you can see in the exposure triangle below.


However, you can choose to use this negative effect positively, so you can do this if you want to make surreal landscapes like the one below where the motion blur works to your advantage.


This photo was taken at ISO100, F11, with a shutter speed of 2.5 minutes.


The clouds that floated over me have turned into a kind of paint streaks due to the slow shutter speed and if you look closely you can see that the sea looks like fog. All the little waves and wrinkles have been smoothed out, as it were, but all the parts of the photo that don't move are sharp like the rocks in the foreground and the lighthouse on the pier on the left. If you want to achieve this result, you have to make sure that you work with shutter speeds that take 10 seconds or longer but not too much light enters the camera.


The longer the shutter speed is, the more light gets into your camera and you will certainly not be able to save a shutter speed of 2.5 minutes by only reducing your aperture (F value) and setting your ISO as low as possible. Try setting your camera to Manual mode, the shutter speed to 30 seconds (usually the maximum you can set this on your camera), then the ISO to 100 and the Aperture to F22.

You will see that any photo you take now during daylight will result in a white overexposed photo, more than this you can't do without a tool. This tool is a neutral density filter which is a kind of sunglasses for your camera.

I was only able to take this photo with the help of 2 neutral density filters that I had to put in front of my lens. A so-called Bigstopper ND1000 filter, which blocks 10 stops of light, and on top of that also an ND32 filter that blocks 5 stops of light, so that only so little light enters that you have to photograph with slow shutter speeds if you do not want to get a black underexposed photo. Also, you can't take these kinds of photos without a tripod because the shutter speeds are so slow that it's impossible to keep the camera in the same position for so long without any movement.


To show the difference between a "normal" and a "long exposure" photo I have placed 2 photos below and it remains a matter of taste, but personally I think the misty water and the viscous clouds have something dreamy and the also give more peace.

Normale shutterspeed, ISO 100, F11 , 1/100 seconds


Lange shutterspeed, ISO 100, F11, 30 seconds

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