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Long Exposures


These interesting rock formation are situated right in the middle of a extremely busy beach within the heart of the city of Visakapatnam, In Andhra Pradesh, India. I had earlier been to this place as a tourist quite long ago, its only after having started doing photography that I could see this place in a different light and perspective.

When I showed this photograph to my friends from that city, they could hardly believe that it was the same place.

A long exposure photograph can very interestingly alter the way a everyday place look to our everyday eyes.

Here is quick guide to help you Jump start into this genre of photography

Lets first talk about what you will need to make this happen.

  1. Your DSLR camera

  2. A sturdy tripod

  3. A ND Filter - optional

  4. A Shutter Release cable - optional

How to make these photographs…

Note: I would like to believe that you are aware of the Manual Mode of your camera, else you may want to go back to get to know the manual mode first and comeback for this.

A long exposure shot typically would range starting 10 sec to 120 seconds ( this is not a rule, but more of a field experience guideline) , Hence the tripod is an integral part of this type of photography.

This type of photography is generally done just around sunrise / sunset when the lights are low, forcing you have longer shutter time in order to get the right exposure. Alternately the need for a longer exposure can be induced by using a ND filter. There are different types of ND filters available like ND3, ND6, ND10 and some other variants.

Shooting at Sunrise / Sunset hours...

As with any normal photograph, you are to first compose your shot according to the scene and your vision about the place. As you are shooting landscapes, your focal length would be in the ranges of f8 to f16 ( I personally try are remain within f8 to f11 as anything further, chromatic aberrations of the lens may start showing up)

Set your ISO to 100, this way you will get the cleanest / noiseless image.

Now adjust your shutter speed to ensure you get the right exposure. ( Just in case you are not aware how to be sure that you have the correct exposure, there is a light meter right inside your camera, peep into the view finder and you will see a scale ate the bottom of the view. As you alter the shutter speed, you will get to see the pointer moving , which you should adjust to the center or zero mark. )

You might have to keep taking few shots until you feel you have got what you had in your vision.

Shooting during the day…

The steps remain just the same, the advantage that you may get using the ND filter is that it allows you to slow down your shutter speed by factor of the ND_number. Simply put if you have a ND3 it mean you can reduce the shutter speed by 3 stops, like wise for ND 6 and ND10. Just for you to understand ND10 is generally also referred as Big Stopper ( although there is a company by that brand name, not to be confused with that alone )

Some other example of photographs made using this technique.

All of the above images are from our Various Photography Tours & Photography Workshops across the country.

Here is what happened at our Photography Workshop in Visakhapatnam

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