Discover new creative tools by using long exposure to take you images to the next level. We travel to Whitby in this landscape photography tutorial and vlog.
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In this landscape photography tutorial I travel to Whitby in North Yorkshire to capture and share how I create my long exposure images.
If you have never seen long exposure photography before you are in for a treat and capturing these images brings new challenges and creative possibilities. Essentially what is happening is by increasing the exposure time we introduce movement into our image that would normally be frozen and it gives the picture added interest and a look that would not be seen by your own eyes.
This video focuses on capturing long exposure landscapes during the day but the principles are the same no matter how or when you use it..
You will already understand the exposure triangle so when increasing exposure time we need to balance things by reducing ISO or making our aperture smaller to prevent the image being over exposed. However, in daylight conditions, even with ISO at 100 and an aperture at f/16, your shot could still be over exposed before even one second has passed. To achieve the desired effect we want our exposure to be at least 30 seconds. The only way to do this is to use ND filters. These are filters added to the front of your lens that reduce the amount of light passing through the lens without severely affecting the colour. ND filters are rated by how many stops of light they reduce the exposure by. For example if you attach a 2 stop filter to your lens you will need to increase exposure in your camera by the same 2 stops to obtain a proper exposure.
Neutral Density Filters
Neutral Density filters like the Lee Big Stopper reduce the amount of light entering the lens. In the tutorial we are using a 6 stop filter, a 10 stop filter and a Formatt Hitech 82mm 16 stop ND filter which allows us to get some extremely long exposures of several minutes, even in bright daylight conditions.
Exposures of this length have a number of uses. It will reduce the roughest waters to a smooth tranquil scene and add lots of movement to even the slowest moving clouds. In city scenes it can also be used to remove people from your images. At night it can be used for star trail shots and create interesting and varied light painting images.
Shutter Release Cable
In addition to the ND filter you will also need a shutter release cable, unless you have a built in timer, allowing you to lock the shutter open when using the bulb mode. Keeping your camera very still is also essential so a good sturdy tripod is handy. If you don’t have a tripod you could also place your camera down on a wall or some raised ground. A bean bag can be used to allow a small amount of adjustment or to keep things level on an uneven surface. When using a DSLR it is worth covering your viewfinder with some gaff tape or a viewfinder cap because light can creep in and ruin your image.
Once you are armed with this knowledge and the few tools you need; get out and take some pictures. It is an amazing motivation to go and see the world and can really pull you out of the landscape photography dip.
My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides landscape photography tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.
hi I'm Adam and welcome to first man photography today I'm in Whitby we're going to be talking about how to use long exposure photography to up your photography game let's go before we get into this today this video is sponsored by Squarespace if you need the domain name web sites or an online store then make your next move with Squarespace since I was in Glencoe in January I have not been out to shoot any landscape photography and that's because Glencoe was just so epic but I was really happy with the shots I captured and like I've mentioned before when I am doing landscape photography particularly I ride a wave there are ups there are downs and when I hit high like Glencoe there's always a slump afterwards where my creativity just eludes me for a little bit and it takes some time to get things back and going again one of the things is to employ different techniques and that is what I do with long exposure photography so I'm going to talk you through some of the things to do to start shooting some really nice long exposure images and just gives you another technique to be more creative and create something different to everything else you see there are a few things you're gonna need though in order to do that and we'll talk about that in a minute but isn't it just absolutely brilliant being at the beach the feeling I always used to get when I was younger as you drive down to the coast that first sight you get of the sea it's just so exciting my kids get excited about it now and I still feel excited in the very same way you then get out the car in a place like Whitby you can smell the sea air the fish and chips it's just a really quite a special thing at the seaside so the things you need are firstly a sink to shoot and I've come here to just buy Whitby Abbey and I've got this view down to the harbour and the bells going off I'm not time is so I have Whitby harbour here and it's perfect for a long exposure because you need to have two elements you need to have something is moving and then something that's static in your image because it's lengthening exposure and smoothing out that out that movement that creates the interest in a long exposure shot and makes it different from a normal static shot so after that it's about gear really and you're going to need a camera that has a build mode or a timer in order to push your exposure longer than 30 seconds you're then going to need a filter an ND filter a solid ND filter of either six ten or even sixteen stops which I'm using for this shot here you're also going to need tripod because any your camera will lose sharpness out of your image so a nice sturdy tripod is a recommendation and then also you need to if you're using a DSLR you need to cover the eyepiece because light can creep in through the eyepiece in during a three minutes plus exposure that can really damage your image and make very strange things happen it's once we've done that we need to compose a shot and that's what I've done here I've got the Harbert sort of leading you up into those small lighthouses at the end of the harbor and it's going to be a really straightforward image I've got the sea of horizon going along the top of the rule of thirds line and that's going to be my shot and as I smooth out the water and smooth out the clouds it'll be quite an interesting image so then it's about firstly taking a normal exposure so we can then adjust our exposure time depending on what that is so for this scene it's one three hundred and twentieth of a second at f/8 and ISO 100 that's for my normal exposure and then I need to use an app or a exposure calculator to work out how long that exposure is going to be so in this case it is three minutes 20 seconds I use photo pills app there are lows out there that will work out your exposure time before you put your filter on though you need to make sure you have your focus locked because once you attach that dark filter to the front of the camera the camera will not know what to do because it won't be able to see in a normal way so you need to get your focus locked and then switch to manual focus so we're not going to get any focusing issues also you need to turn your is off if you have image stabilization because that can introduce some movement into the image as well and we don't want that it's quite windy at the moment so with that kind of exposure I am going to get a slight amount of movement which will reduce the sharpness a little bit but it shouldn't be too bad so once we've done that we just need to punch in our exposure time on this Canon 5d Mark 4 it lets you do it with a built-in bulb timer if you don't have one of them you're going to need to put in a shutter release cable and just turn it into build mode and then lock off your exposure for as long as you have decided it needs to be and then just time it with your phone or some of the shutter release cables actually have a time so I'm gonna go ahead I've got the bald mode set I've got the timer set and I'm just gonna use it to second time so there's no movement in the camera and then go ahead and shoot okay so I'm set up for my second shot of the day just as the Sun is moving into golden hours one of the really nice things about long exposure photography is it really says to the viewer that it's not just a snap shot you have literally put the time and the effort in to capture something different than anyone else walking by would have captured and this is quite a good example of what I've got set up here and where you can really use long exposure to your advantage so across the harbor there towards the other harbor wall there is this really interesting ladder and the composition I have is just with that ladder in the scene and then the the harbor wall essentially filling the middle of the frame with the horizon on the top rule of thirds and then the on the bottom of the wall on the bottom rule of thirds I have the 70 to 200 millimeter lens on there and I'm zoomed fairly well in at about 100 millimetres on that ladder and with the layers of the seaweed and the moss and the brick in the shape it's all working perfectly for a long exposure because there's some really interesting textures in that wall and that ladder and then that's contrasted against the really smooth out water and then the smoothed out sky when I do the long exposure so for this one I only have a 10 stop filter for this lens so it is going to be a 51 second exposure and that's still enough to smooth out the water I'll smooth out the sky and create that effect that I'm looking for the type of ND filter that you use really depends on your budget this one which I'm testing out today for the first time is a very very cheap one this was about 20 pounds and it fits on the front of the 70-200 I have used expensive ones I've used cheap ones this is actually looking to be pretty decent it doesn't introduce a color cast or anything like that so I'm fairly impressed so far and long exposure photography does not have to be expensive on top of what you've got this is a tense top one like I said but yeah pretty good another great thing about long exposure is that if you have people walking through your scene and particularly in a busy sort tourist area like this you can remove them from the shot using the long exposure because as long as they keep moving through your scene they won't be captured at any one point and it's a really good technique for removing people from your scene so I'm all set up to take this shots I have the bulb timer on again I'm at f/16 it's gonna be a 51 second exposure iso100 hoping that nice golden light stays on the wall shoot that wait 51 seconds let's have a look so I'm also up for my last shot of the day and I've had to have a bit of a mad dash down to the next town or village from Whitby down to Samson because they're tied as you can see has come right in and there was no beach left at Whitby sites we rushed down so I'm worried about the sea captain outfit here had to rush down to Sam's end because I wanted to finish the day with a seascape with long exposure when it comes to sunsets which it is about now blonde exposure is not the best thing to capture a sunset especially if you've got the Sun in the image because you can imagine as the exposure goes the Sun is moving through scene so it just doesn't look right what long exposure is absolutely perfect for though is that time after sunset which were just getting into now as then that's normally the time that the color fills the sky if you've got a good sunset and using long exposure to capture that is great because what it does is as that color develops and as the color moves at different spots through the sky if you're exposing all the time that that's happening the image will capture all of that color so actually you capture a little bit more color than you would normally capture with just a very quick exposure image and that's exactly what I'm doing here so if all my composition I'm using these I don't know what the calls are – I do know the name but I've forgotten these poles leading into the sea and then I've got the sea washing up just over this wall here which I'm stood on the tide is coming in so I'm probably gonna get wet feet very shortly that's my composition from the bottom right hand corner up into the image and then just smoothing out that sea with a nice long explosion then capturing as much color in the sky as I can at the moment I have a six stop filter on there because as it gets the end of the day and the light comes down a sixth stop filter it's good for just extending that exposure to around a minute to two minutes depending on the light so the good thing about the six stop filter is your camera can still see through it so you can still compose through the live you can really see through the viewfinder we can still compose through the live view when it compensates for that sunset wise tonight are we gonna get any cooler huh don't really know because at the other side I mean is the wall here for the road but at the other side of that where the Sun is actually setting behind you there there is a massive bank of horizon cloud so there's not gonna be any massive color but I do have some very high altitude cloud here which could still catch some color maybe 20 minutes after the Sun sets has has happened so I'm gonna wait around for that and try and capture that in this long exposure I might experiment with different things you can experiment with different lengths of exposure to get different effects in the water if you want some swirling do it for a bit shorter a few seconds even and you can really experiment using your long exposures and use it creatively it's another technique just to get the creative juices flowing and that's exactly what I use it for anyway stick around to the end for the image and a really awesome time-lapse to finish the day as well but I really hope you've enjoyed the video leave a comment down below and let me know what you think of long exposure any questions as well I'm quite happy to answer and please do share the video because that really helps me out this video as you know is sponsored by Squarespace thanks so much to Squarespace for continuing to sponsor me but if you go to Squarespace com to start your free trial today and go to Squarespace calm / 1st man to get 10% off your first purchase anyway I hope you've enjoyed the video I'll see you on another one very very soon I matter this is first man photography at the beach in the beautiful North Yorkshire sharp and it creates a nice gypped Jukes it creates a nice juxtaposition