Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: long exposure help, please.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Fullerton, California.
    Posts
    34
    Real Name
    Mike

    long exposure help, please.

    I was practicing trying to get some long exposure photos of a waterfall. The photos kept coming out mostly white which I know means too much light. The time of day was 4:30 pm and it was fairly sunny but I tried to shoot from the shade of a tree. Can anyone tell me how to do this correctly? I was at F29 with ISO at 200. Set at BULB with a remote.
    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    DanK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,711
    Real Name
    Dan

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Please post an image that illustrates your problem.

  3. #3
    kdoc856's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,959
    Real Name
    Kevin

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Hey, Mike

    If you meant to insert an image here, it didnt come through. To shoot the longer exposures to get the always -cliche but always-expected silken look, you MUST use a tripod. Shooting from shade isnt the issue- you have to control the incident light: later in the evening or early in AM, get some ND filters and use stacked and/or add a polarizing filter. You had the right idea in using a narrow aperture, but probably wont like the IQ. I try to shoot these with an ISO of 50-100, F11-16, and utilizing the histogram to dictate my filter combination. Keep experimenting- its fun and well worth it. Hope this is of some help.

    Kevin
    Last edited by kdoc856; 9th July 2012 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Berks, UK
    Posts
    16,059
    Real Name
    Dave Humphries :)

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Hi Mike,

    Your diagnosis is correct, however; using bulb means the shutter opens and stays open until you close it - and you didn't say how long you left it open?

    I suggest you meter the scene normally and set the exposure to the correct value.

    Problem is, in daylight, this probably won't give you anything like a long enough shutter speed to achive the effect you are after (even at 100 iso and f/29) - you will inevitably need an ND (neutral density) filter, 10 stops is one option, or a Variable ND.

    If you have a polariser, try using that. it'll give you another two stops (i.e. four times longer).

    I'll defer further replies to someone that has done it

  5. #5
    rpcrowe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Southern California, USA
    Posts
    12,451
    Real Name
    Richard

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    "The time of day was 4:30 pm and it was fairly sunny but I tried to shoot from the shade of a tree."

    If I read this correctly, you were in the shade of a tree when shooting, that leads me to believe that the waterfall might have been in the sun... Under "fairly sunny" conditions and using f/29 @ ISO 200, the correct shutter speed should have been somewhere around 1/50 second or so. I am sure that if you were using bulb that your shutter speed must certainly have been longer than that. Where did you arrive at f/29 and your bulb shutter speed?

    It is unfortunate that some cameras have ISO 200 as the lowest ISO setting. My 7D uses ISO 100 as the lowest possible setting while some full frame Canon models can shoot at ISO 50.

    A lower ISO is certainly useful for the type of capture you desired. I would really like to have ISO 25 capability so that I could simply add a CPL to slow down my shutter speed enough to smooth out flowing water. However that doesn't sell cameras, especially entry level or prosumer cameras. What sells these cameras is umpteen-gazillion ISO capabilities.

    I suggest that you might get a neutral density filter to allow a slower shutter speed or wait until early evening or early morning to shoot when the light is considerably dimmer...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Fullerton, California.
    Posts
    34
    Real Name
    Mike

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Thanks for the replies. I did not try to post any images but I'm sure you all have seen them before. I was set on BULB and I tried many different lengths of time as I was using a remote and tripod.
    The falls were in sunlight. I guess I need to use filters or wait until the light is more suitable for this type of experimenting. Low light or completely shaded by more trees. Although I didn't get the results I was hoping for on my first go at this, I most certainly had a good deal of fun trying. I will find a better location and have another go at it. I appreciate the insight you all provided and I will try tp put it all to use.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,340
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Mike: it also depends on other factors as well, if the way is really fast as fast a 1/8th of a sec will blurr the water, slower and it will just be a white patch. A good spot at say f29, need a tripod for this (ALWAYS) sorry to yell, I find 1.3" secs to 1.6" seconds works for me that said I use ISO of 100. If I need, I adjust the speed up or down until I get the look I want. Remember it is not the light under the tree, but the light that is falling on the water. If you want to shot more of this than as the others have stated than a CPL would be helpful (get say a 77mm and use step up rings from you len to step up to the 77mm of the filter). ND filters can get expensive so I would suggest a 3 set of 1 thru 3 stops, these can be stacked for 6 stops with CP that now makes 8 stops. Stay away for now from the 10 stop as they can be very expensive and you may find that you do not like the effect that you get, if you like the effect than go for a 10 stop. Now 10 stop can be lots of fun.
    The exposure time for this shot was 62 seconds.

    Cheers:

    Allan


    long exposure help, please.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Fullerton, California.
    Posts
    34
    Real Name
    Mike

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Very nice photo Allan. I almost understood most of what you were saying.LOL. I'll read it again and agin and I'm sure it will sink eventually. Now I just need to do some more experimenting. I'm still so new at this but I want to know how to do everything right now. But I know that is an impossibilty so I will continue to be patient and learn as it comes.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Grafton, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,340
    Real Name
    Allan Short

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Mike: if there is something you are not sure of, please post and I will be more than happy to help. Let me know what it is and I will break it down in greater detail but not very techenical, once you start to get your head around it, it will all fall into place.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Fullerton, California.
    Posts
    34
    Real Name
    Mike

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Thanks for the offer Allan. I will be sure to take you up on it. Things seem so confusing at first but as I have more time to digest it and actually put the technique in to action it begins to make more sense.
    I'm so totally into taking photos and learning new stuff. I'm really surprised it has taken me this long to get involved with DSLR photography. This is a ton of fun, even when I do it wrong.

  11. #11
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    12,354
    Real Name
    Manfred Mueller

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    A lot of the "flowing water" scenes that you see are shot using a tripod and a neutral density filter. The camera does the metering, so the main issue that the photographer has to take care of is ensuring a sufficiently long exposure and a very steady camera (I tend to use a cable release as well as a tripod).

    long exposure help, please.

    I used a 5-stop (1.5) ND filter on this shot. Exposure was around 1 second. Camera was in shutter priority mode; shot was done at mid-day on a partially cloudy day. With this filter, I can still compose the image in the viewfinder. I tend to bracket by a stop either side of what the exposure meter is telling me. If you want even smoother flow, a higher ND filter is required.

  12. #12
    Tringa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    London and NW Scotland
    Posts
    574
    Real Name
    Dave

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    If you want try long exposures with very little cost you could try getting a piece of welding glass. Pieces can be found on Ebay in the UK for about 2 sterling.

    It would take a bit of work to fit it to the camera and you'd need to adjust the WB to prevent a magenta cast but that is easy.

    The drawbacks are the quality of the glass which can lead to spots on the photos and it could be too dark for your needs - I can hold a piece at arm's length and look at the midday sun in September in London with ease - but the outlay is small.

    Dave

  13. #13
    knifebox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    59
    Real Name
    James Enriquez

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    While most of the comments here hold true, the shutter speed need not be overly long to produce the effect Mike is looking for. It would also have to depend on the flow rate of the water and how much motion blur you'd like to see in your image.

    long exposure help, please.

    this is a handheld shot taken with a nikon D90 and 18-105 kit lens. Shutter speed is 1/35

    If you'd like to get the really silky smooth kind of blur, you'll have to definitely use a tripod. To get an idea on what settings to use, try to shoot in program or aperture priority with an f-stop between 11-16. You'll also need an ND filter with at least 3 stops and a Grad filter so you wont have blown out highlights in the sky.

    Hope this helps

  14. #14

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Fullerton, California.
    Posts
    34
    Real Name
    Mike

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    Thanks Knifebox. Any advice helps and I will take all of it and put it use. I appreciate all the tips and photos to help me along my way. On my first foray into this experiment I tried leaving the shutter open for varying lenghts of time. I actually did get a couple like Knifebox's example but I was hoping to go a bit deeper and get the really smooth, almost dreamy look of the water. I'm going to get an ND filter and give it another go. I'll post when I get something I deem worthy of being seen.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Dunedin New Zealand
    Posts
    2,697
    Real Name
    J stands for John

    Re: long exposure help, please.

    From that last post of yours you do not seem to appreciate that while you need a long exposure to blurr the water you also need a strong neutral density filter to reduce the light entering the camera during that exposure so it is the equivalent of a normal short exposure. I think of it as a playground see-saw with the aperture closing [ plus the ND when you reach the limit of the camera] as the time increasing. and vice versa.
    Sorry if I misunderstand you and you do .....
    long exposure help, please.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •