If a photograph is supposed to tell a story then a long exposure photographs story can be summed up in one word… Relaxing. The photograph above is not a difficult photograph to take and you don’t need Photoshop or Lightroom to accomplish this. Here is the equipment I used:
You don’t really need the remote if you know how to use the timed shutter release settings on your camera but I’d still recommend it because there have been times when I had to put my camera in “bulb mode” (bulb mode is where you press the shutter to open the shutter and then press it again some time later to shut it) to get longer exposure times than my camera had preset.
Note: One piece not mentioned above but absolutely necessary is the cover for your viewfinder. If you don’t cover it up while doing long exposure your pictures will be ruined with the small amount of light that comes through the viewfinder.
Tip: Before you put your ND filter in place make sure you focus your lens. If you don’t like to manual focus a trick you can do on the Nikon is auto focus to where you want and then switch your camera to manual so the camera doesn’t try to focus you again when you press the shutter button. You won’t be able to frame or focus the scene once the filter is in place because it’s too dark to see through.
Here is the scene above without the ND filter:
Long exposure photography is a fun and interesting way to stretch your creativity to new heights. Once you have mastered long exposure photography on rivers, streams, and waves, try taking some dramatic shots of landscapes with fast-moving clouds overhead to give the photograph some life. If you get some great shots or have some you’d like to share already email me and I’ll feature them in the weekly Photo Journal.
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