If you are a beginner in photography, you may have a passion for long-exposure photos, but you don’t know how to start. This article hopes to introduce how to take beautiful long-exposure photos with simple words and steps. Let’s come together Learn it!
7 steps to taking the perfect long exposure photo
(Step 1) Pay attention to the weather and time
As the name suggests, a long exposure photo is to open the shutter, allowing the camera to capture changes in the environment over a long period of time. In the relationship between aperture, shutter and ISO, long exposure means that the shutter becomes slower. At this time, the aperture and ISO should also be adjusted accordingly, but the aperture and shutter cannot be infinitely smaller, so you must pay close attention to the strength of the external light source. On a cloudless, sunny day, it might not be a good time to take a long exposure photo (because it is easy to overexpose and the shutter won’t slow down much)! We can choose to take long-exposure photos of the landscape when there are clouds or sunrise and sunset. Of course, the train tracks, star tracks, etc. are taken at night.
(Step 2) Observe the target terrain in advance
For a successful landscape photo, pre-observing the target terrain allows you to grasp the timing and composition of the shot earlier, especially for long-exposure photos. Each photo will also be captured for a long time. Frequently changing shooting locations may make you take pictures. There are not many small photos, so if possible, go to the scenic spots you want to take pictures at different times to inspect the environment, so as to grasp the time, and hit it with one click.
(Step 3) Bring a tripod, a cable release and a backup battery
For long exposure shooting, in addition to the camera lens, remember to bring a tripod and backup battery. A stable tripod is a prerequisite for taking good long exposure photos. If the tripod is not stable enough, or if you forget to bring it, you will Greatly affects the quality of long-exposure photos. The shutter release can be replaced by Selfie/countdown, but it is more efficient and convenient to shoot with the shutter release. It is recommended that you prepare.
(Step 4) Focusing skills
If you have already set the shooting position, don’t use autofocus, especially at night or in a dark environment, there is a high chance that the autofocus will fail. You only need to use the autofocus to focus once (you can focus on the light-emitting area that is easy to focus, but The distance must be the same), then set the lens or camera to manual focus (MF), and then keep shooting without moving the camera or focus ring, which is very convenient.
(Step 5) Use M-Mode to set exposure
Beginners may use aperture-priority mode when shooting landscapes, portraits, etc., but manual mode is recommended when shooting long-exposure photos, so that you can fully control the settings of aperture, shutter and ISO, and take ideal photos. The “urgency” of long exposure photos is not as great as other photos, and beginners can adjust them slowly, so it is also a good time to learn manual exposure!
(Step 6) Apply ND filter or graduated gray filter
Sometimes I want to take long exposure photos during the day. When I adjust the aperture and ISO to the limit, the photos are also overexposed. At this time, it is time to use the light reduction filter! The ND filter is a gray semi-transparent mirror with different degrees of dimming effect. It is recommended that students prepare ND4 and ND8 ND filters for practical use. Now there are also some adjustable ND filters to consider, which is very convenient.
(Step 7) Shoot and check the histogram
Well, after the above 6 steps, you can finally press the shutter to shoot, but remember to refer to the histogram after shooting, especially for long-exposure photos during the day, to avoid overexposure or underexposure.
Long-exposure photos are easy to take and have good effects. It is a subject that all beginner photography students must practice. Therefore, whether it is sunny or rainy, morning or evening, we can also bring a tripod to shoot, you will definitely find it fun!