Hello dear readers of fotografmania. We are here with a wonderful article. The subject of this article will be LONG EXPOSURE. After exploring the questions such as what is long exposure, how to make long exposure day and night, and how machine values ​​should be in long exposure, we will finish our article by including examples of long exposure.

What is Long Exposure?

Before moving on to long exposure shooting techniques; I want to briefly describe ‘what is long exposure‘: By keeping the shutter speed (exposure time) long, we can define it as photographing objects as they move. The effect of motion is added to the photograph by using light reflected by slow or fast moving objects. Canon Nikon Sony or Samsung … no matter what brand of camera you take, the shutter speed (exposure time) should be long. In long exposures, a photo is taken between 1 second and 1 hour.

In this article, I tried to deal with long exposure in general. Check out my other post for star long exposure and Milky Way exposure here.

The harmonious light lines that the stars draw in the night sky, the velvety flows of the waterfalls, the illuminated lines of the headlights of the cars on the road or the sky walks in the sky are examples of long exposure. The most important point to pay attention to in such compositions that we can create with long exposure is the shutter speed. The shooting speed required for long exposures should be very slow.

Long exposure example: Sony a6000+12 mm +f7,1 + 30 sec+iso100

I find it useful to make a special explanation in order to explain the speed we are talking about to beginners. Many of my beginner amateur photographer friends I have difficulties to understand this speed. As is known, the shutter speed, which we can usually take photos, is between 1/8000 and 1/30 of a second. The photo is taken at these speeds when we press the button (shutter). 1/30 sec will be sufficient for handheld shooting. Come on, we pushed, forced, we made 1/5 sec. However, we perceive the shooting speed quickly and feel that the photo can be taken. However, in long exposures, this speed varies between 1 hour and 30 seconds (very rarely it can decrease to 5 seconds or so). In other words, the camera takes thousands of seconds to take a picture. This technique is called long exposure because it has been such a long time.
There are a few highlights of long exposure, which gives our photos a completely different effect. Let’s examine them:

Tricks of Long Exposure 1: Light Reduction

In a spontaneously developing trip, you can make a long exposure with the possibilities you have when you decide to make a long exposure. This exposure was taken at f22 in iso 100 with only 10 seconds exposure. The friend in the photo stopped moving for 10 seconds and appeared clear. He also had to press the shutter for seconds because he didn’t bring a remote control 🙂 (Thanks Kenan)

Long exposure can be done day or night. The important thing is to reduce the light falling on the sensor. Since the night will already be dark, it is okay. The real question will be ‘how to do long exposure during the day‘. The active factor is the ability to reduce light in the daytime sun. There are several different ways light can be reduced. Whether you use them individually or use them all. The choice is up to you.

1. The first method is to use ND (density) filter. There are different degrees of intensity filters. Choose according to your composition. There are filters that can dim the light up to 10 stops. This means that, for example, the shutter value was set to 1/200 with the aperture you selected in the normal unfiltered state. If you install 10 stops and filters; You can reduce the shutter speed up to 4 seconds (1/100, 1/50, 1/25, 1/13, 1/6, 1 / 3.1 / 2, 1, 2, respectively).

Long exposure example: Sony a6000+12 mm +f7,1 + 30 sec+iso100

2. If you do not have a ND filter, CPL, or polarizing filters, will also break the light. You can reduce the shutter speed from about 3 to 5 stops.

3. Use your lens on low aperture. For example, if there is a 50mm f1.8 lens, the minimum aperture will probably be f16. Using f16 instead of F1.8 provides 7 stops advantage in long exposures. Also, if you have a shorter aperture lens in your bag, you can also choose it. Kit lenses are usually dimmable up to f32, which gives you 2 full stops advantage over f16. But there is one more thing to remember for photo quality: I do not find it appropriate to use the narrowest diaphragm unless I have to. The sharpness of the photo reduces quality in many ways. You can leave it two stops ahead.

4. Pay attention to your ISO value. As you block the light, ISO will increase if it is left behind automatically. In order for both the quality and exposure time to be high, it is appropriate to have a minimum ISO value. If desired, one stop top may be preferred.

In addition to what I mentioned above, if there is a method that you can think of, you can use it.

Tricks of Long Exposure 2: Stabilizing the Camera

One of the most important issues of long exposures is the stabilization of the camera. The best fixing method is to use a tripod. It is very useful with both its advantage in fixing and the advantage it provides for framing by changing direction.

If there is no tripod, it is necessary to try to fix it on a hard ground. It can be placed on a rock or stone. Although it is not easy to use as in tripod, it can save lives at that moment. It may also be a different alternative to use the bag to secure it.

Tricks of Long Exposure 3: Control or REMOTE Control

As is known, cameras provide automatic shooting up to 30 seconds. Shooting over 30 seconds, many of the long exposures take much longer than 30 seconds; A control must be used. Wifi, which is an indispensable feature of the machines in the market recently, can be very useful during this time. You can easily control the shutter speed from your phone or tablet. You can use it like a remote control. One of the most important points to consider when using wifi is that your phone and camera batteries will run out faster and can ruin everything during long exposure.
For long exposures, delayed shooting should be used to ensure higher quality. Shooting with 2 sec or 10 sec delay can be used. Thus, the vibration of our hand on the tripod can be minimized.

Other Points on Long Exposure Settings:

** Turn off the anti-vibration capabilities of cameras or lenses, if available, in long exposures. Unwanted vibrations may occur on the tripod when the vibration dampers of the Camera or Lens are active throughout the shot. Absolutely anti-shake should be turned off.

** It will always be useful to take the shots in RAW format. Better quality photos are done in raw format.

It was raining when I took this photo and I knew I couldn’t take another. I started shooting by quickly adjusting my values. But I couldn’t risk the risk of damaging my machine due to the rain and I finished the shooting earlier than I planned. Therefore, I had a dark photo because the exposure could not be completed correctly. Since I was shooting RAW, I was able to edit in many ways, and a usable frame came there. (Digital edits can be noticed by careful consideration.)

** Long exposures are more difficult to do at night and require a lot of effort. It takes even minutes to prepare. It is very important to be in the place on time, considering that it will take a long time at night. For example, a star long exposure takes at least 30 minutes. Also, if long exposure noise reduction is not turned off, it will take up to 30 minutes for the camera to complete recording. Remember that you can spend at least 1 hour for 1 square and make your preparations accordingly. Shooting conditions may not be suitable for a 2nd frame. For example, the moon can enter the frame. Let the moon enter the frame, even being close to it will ruin everything. The position of the moon that night from a reliable source should also be checked before shooting. It is best that the moon is not in the sky. If it is at the top of the hill, the desired result cannot be achieved in long exposure even if it does not enter the frame.

Trial Shooting at Night Long Exposures

** It is very important to do trial shooting at night long exposure shooting. it will be very useful for the accuracy of the photo that you will spend a long time. Whether it is electronic or optical, you cannot see anything other than a huge darkness in the viewfinder. Therefore, it is necessary to make a trial shoot. After placing your camera on a tripod for trial shooting, in A mode, you can see what will enter your frame by taking a shot at the highest aperture, the lightest diaphragm, and re-frame if necessary. For star long exposure and Milky Way exposure, you can check out my other article here.

Long exposure example: Sony a6000+11 mm +f7,1 + 2381 sec+iso100

** You should be very careful not to let fixed light sources enter your frame in long exposures. Even those who look a little from afar will create a big brightness on the screen at the end of the exposure. If possible, you should not put any distant light source near the frame.

** Regions without light pollution should be preferred when framing long exposures. Light pollution is a light bright layer formed in the sky and above a settlement. But at night exposures, this slightly shiny layer will come out very brightly. It is one of the elements that should never be in the background.

** You should avoid using the lens automatically. It is already very difficult to get autofocus in pitch dark. Do not leave your job to chance; Focus manually and release forever. If it remains automatic, there may be a loss of clarity and you must throw all the preparations in the trash.

** You can use materials such as flashlights, laser lights to create different compositions. You can draw text or shapes with a laser and paint with a flashlight. You can also create amazing compositions by burning and moving materials such as flammable glass wool.
Lens Selection is Very Important in Long Exposures

** You should also pay attention to lens selection. Wide-angle lenses are indispensable if you want to take landscape-style photos. At least you can use the wide angle of the kit lens. Since the aperture value will be shortened, it happens even if there are no open aperture lenses. The important thing is to choose a lens according to the size of the area you will frame.

Be Careful

** Also, be careful when taking dangerous photos, such as a lightning bolt. You do not need to enter the core of the storm. You don’t even need to get wet. A cave will do your job. In addition, no matter what pose you take, the air will be cooler in the night photos than in the daytime. Choose your clothes and shoes by looking at the weather forecast. It is painful to be sick for a photo for days.

** No matter what brand of camera you use Canon, Nikon Sony, long exposure should be adjusted according to the location and lens. There are no standard settings that we call long exposure to be done with the following setting. I have made humble advice to get a better long exposure above and shared some of the samples I took by giving exif data. You can also make settings by trial and error. Over time, your number of attempts will decrease.

Long exposure example: Sony a6000+10 mm +f7,1 + 25 sec+iso100

** Long exposure is a very enjoyable activity. You also don’t need to have expensive cameras. You can try it everywhere with even a few small equipment and the simplest machine I mentioned above. The important thing is not to give up the experiment, to take time. Even long exposures can be taken with iPhone or some brand phones. You download a simple app and finish the job. What you pose is now up to you. You can shoot stars, waterfall, people, or clouds in a long exposure. You can even make the job even more fun with artificial lights. It’s up to you to create compositions that can push your imagination.

Long Exposure Noise Reduction

** Don’t forget to turn off the long exposure noise reduction option from ISO settings during night exposures. We have already said that we should keep ISO to a minimum. Also, high ISO value will overheat your machine. The processor may also heat the machine a little. Pay attention to the temperature of your machine. I know a lot of people, while looking at the stars, there are burnt odors from the camera. Shame on it, my dear Cameras.
** I leave the most important to the end: Security! Walking in the mountains and hills at night is not as easy as it is expected to stay. You should also pay attention to wild animals. Do not do anything without being sure of your safety. It does not joke !!! Experience speaks 🙂

Please click for star exposure and Milky Way photos.

Let your light be of good quality …

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