Long Exposure Photography

Photographing for extended periods of time can add a whole different dimension to your photography. I consider any exposure over ten seconds to be in the long exposure category. When you have the shutter open for an extended time you begin to record movement which can lead to unique captures of time. Clouds blur through a scene. Light also renders a slightly different dimension on still objects. We all have seen the results of water captured over time.

There are occasions when even with a small aperture and low ISO we can’t get the time we would like to try these creative looks. Enter the neutral density filter. With one or more neutral density filters the creative possibilities are extended. I’m working with Tiffen ND filters (landscape/seascape kit) ** and trying the extremely dark filters. I have a three stop and a ten stop filter. These can be stacked for even more density if necessary.

Here are a couple images made with the ten stop filter in place. It is almost impossible to see through a filter this dark so my process is to pull focus and take note of the exposure reading without the filter attached. Then place the filter on the camera. In this case, the exposure was between two and four minutes. My camera will only go to sixty seconds. It also has a bulb setting but that would mean touching the camera to activate and deactivate the shutter. There’s a better way.

black and white time exposureI haven’t achieved the exact look I’d like but I’m looking forward to the experimentation.

time exposure with red rocksClouds go soft with movement over the time exposure.

If you haven’t heard of the Pluto Trigger *** and its app you are missing out on many possible controls that can be added to your camera. As long as you have a remote port on your camera it can work for you. For this example, there is a conversion table for the extended time needed for long exposure ND photography. The trigger asks what the shutter speed is for an exposure without the ND filter in place. You input the shutter speed and let the app know what ND filter(s) you add and it calculates the proper exposure. Push the button on the app and the camera shutter is opened for the needed duration and then closed. Very cool!

** The Tiffen Long Exposure Kit

Tiffen Pro100 Series Camera Filter Holder
77mm & 82mm Adapting Rings
Tiffen ND 1.2 (4 Stop)
Tiffen IRND 3.0 (10 Stop)

Tiffen’s Pro 100 Series Filter System 

The sleek and innovative design of our camera filter holder enables you to use up to two Tiffen Award Winning 4mm thick glass Motion Picture/Television filters at once, giving you the opportunity to create images like never before.

  • Extremely durable Aluminum Frame equipped with rubberized grips, allowing for a secure fit for 4X4 and 4X5.650 filters
  • Holds up to two, 4mm thick filters
  • Fully rotatable adapting ring
  • Edge sealed to prevent light leaks*
  • Works with adapting rings from 49mm-82mm
* Felt lining included to prevent light leaks (for long exposure photography
*** There are about 24 extra things you can do with your camera when using the Pluto Trigger including lightning, sound, infrared, water droplet (with optional valve), extended HDR, time-lapse and much more!
I’m looking forward to exploring this long exposure photography more in the future!!
Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob