Photo Tip “Long Exposure Periods”

Photo tip – Use long exposure periods for creative purposes!
 
Shutter speed is (and exposure) as well as diaphragm and ISO rate an important setting in order to determine image brightness. The period of exposure is relevant to the risk of blurring in photography without a tripod. However, the period of exposure is not only relevant in relation to blurring. For moving subjects, the shutter speed is an essential setting when creating an image.

More information on exposure and risk of blurring can be found in respective technical fundamentals of photography on Little-photo-college.net

The technical correlation between diaphragm, exposure and ISO rate can be found in the respective article.

The following images illustrate the impact exposure has on image creation. When using slow shutter speeds you should estimate the risk of blurring and if need be use a tripod or other stabilising techniques.

Image 1 – Exposure 1/10 sec – ISO rate 400 – Focal length 17mm
Berlin - Germany

Gear

  • Tripod
  • Remote shutter release

Technical settings

  • Manual focus
    • In order to avoid delays or lags caused by the focus
    • Especially for images captured using a tripod, manual focus is often more convenient than autofocus

Image 2 – Exposure 6 sec – Diaphragm 1:11 – ISO rate 200 – Focal length 17mm

Mallorca

Gear

  • Tripod
  • Remote shutter release

Technical settings

  • Manual focus
    • In order to avoid delays or lags caused by the focus
    • Especially for images captured using a tripod, manual focus is often more convenient than autofocus

 

Under the circumstances, it may be too bright to able to create the desired wipe effect despite low ISO rate and small diaphragm (large f-number). In these cases, ND filters are useful (grey or clear filters). These filters are colour-neutral and modify the intensity of light depending on the level of absorption transmitted through the filter. This allows you to use slower shutter speeds under the same lighting conditions. The following image was captured with a polarising filter for want of an ND filter. These filters also “absorb” some light and allow for slower shutter speeds.

Image 3 – Exposure 2/5 sec – Diaphragm 1:13 – ISO rate 100 – Focal length 100mm
Waterfall

Gear

  • Tripod
  • Remote shutter release
  • Polarising filter (an ND filter would have been better in this case (grey or clear filter) – this filter is colour neutral and allows for slower shutter speeds under the same lighting conditions

Technical settings

  • Manual focus
    • In order to avoid delays or lags caused by the focus
    • Especially for images captured using a tripod, manual focus is often more convenient than autofocus

 

When using slow shutter speeds to capture images, moving objects are blurred. Static objects are captured in sharp focus.
Wipe effects are dependent on shutter speed, focal length, angle of motion to camera and the speed of the moving object. If possible you should capture several test images under comparable conditions, in order to assess the effect it has on the image. Good starting values in order to achieve a wipe effect in an image are e.g.:

  • Pedestrian - 1/4 second
  • Jogger - 1/8 second
  • Car - 1/30 second

 

In the article Photo tip “Flash-drag effect“ you can find more information on an exception of motion blurring.

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