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How To Do Long Exposure Photography


Long exposure photography combines static objects and moving subject matter that creates a visually stunning image. They work particularly well for landscape, seascape and night time shots. These types of photos are appealing as they enable the viewer to see something that cannot be perceived by the naked eye. Moving water can be made to look like a soft mist, moving clouds appear hazy and moving lights give off luminous streaks. This is what makes a scene more captivating. In order to takes these shots, it is necessary that you are confident with your cameras manual mode and able to implement the correct settings on your model.

Once you have found the ideal location your long exposure, make sure you have the right equipment and settings in place.

long exposure photography


A tripod or solid mount will be needed. These are used to prevent camera shake and extreme blur running throughout the whole picture. This is a commonly used for long exposures as these pictures are taken at extremely slow shutter speeds.

Bulb Mode

Bulb mode is a setting available on most professional DSLR cameras. Once in bulb mode, you simply press the shutter button once to open the shutter, and then you press it again to close the shutter. This gives you control over how long the shutter is open for and how long your exposure is.long exposure photography

Shutter Speed

Depending on the light in your scene, your shutter time will need to be roughly 10 to 15 seconds longer than the standard setting you’d use.


An aperture of f/8 and f/16 will usually work best. Aperture settings will also depend on how much light is in your scene and how much exposure you want in the image.


it’s best to maintain a low ISO of about 100 in order to prevent picture grain.

Remote Shutter

It enables you to capture the shot without touching the camera. This can also aid in preventing motion blur. Using the cameras timer of roughly 2 seconds will also work best.

Neutral Density Filters

Neutral density filters are key for taking long exposures during the daytime. They reduce the amount of light entering the camera, permitting you to expose a photo for over a minute without it looking overexposed. These work particularly well for moving water and give the scene a mist like appearance.

Long exposures can be extremely fun to do and can look spectacular with practice. Once you’ve gotten to grips with these key tips you’ll be taking unique shots, which will aid you in developing your own photographic style and help you to build a stylized portfolio.

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Updated: May 17, 2015