Author Topic: 6 Tips for Shooting Long Exposure Night Photographs  (Read 1238 times)

Reyed Mia (Apprentice, DIU)

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6 Tips for Shooting Long Exposure Night Photographs
« on: May 03, 2017, 11:50:29 PM »
6 Tips for Shooting Long Exposure Night Photographs

1: Try to avoid using a Neutral Density filter

On this photo (below) I did a 25 second exposure. That is quite a long exposure and to help prevent it from blowing out, I took the photo right at the end of sunset. There was less light, so that I didn’t have to put an ND Filter on.
If you put an ND filter on it is going to give you a color cast during long exposures. Yes you can use a polarizer, but avoid Neutral Density filters. Shoot when the sun is going down and keep your camera at a low ISO like 100 or 200. Don’t get me wrong, I love ND filters but not at night.

2: The best time for long exposures is 25 seconds

I know that’s a bold statement. Not as bold as stating that French food is the best in the world, but still a bold statement. Here is why I recommend this; I’ve found that when I shoot at 25 seconds it makes the water silky and the clouds stretchy and this has a beautiful look that sells well. Obviously it’s also an artistic choice, but as a photographer you likely want people to buy your photos. The best indicator that people like your photos is that they buy them.

3: Try different exposures of the same scene

Even though I said that 25 seconds exposure is the best, it’s always good to shoot different exposures because this may be different for your situation. For example, I thought that this first image was my go-to photo.

4: Shoot towards the sun

When you are doing a long exposure without an ND filter (so as to avoid the color cast, tip #1), a good thing to do is to shoot toward the sun. When it is behind the horizon line it will always give you a nice sky with lots of color and gradations.

5: Make sure you have water and the sky in your photo

Those are two important things for a long exposure which help to really elevate your photos into what I like to call miracle photos.

6: Try to get the clouds coming towards you

You can study meteorological information to get a sense of which direction the clouds are moving and try to position your shot accordingly. There are even a few apps which great for this.

As I said, this is not always easy but I got lucky on this one. The clouds are going to be stretchy and create leading lines and that help make this photo really interesting.

Reyed Mia (Apprentice, DIU)
Asst. Administrative Officer and Apprentice
Daffodil International University
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