Long Exposure Using Filters (Tips)


Long exposure means that if the shutter speed is taken slowly, the pictures will not look like a normal picture, and the moving light will look like a ray of light. The flowing water is so beautiful that it is chewed like silk fibers. But since it’s in daylight, if you set the exposure and shoot with a slow shutter speed as usual, the picture will be bright and white. That’s why I will shoot using ND/ GND filters that reduce the light.

Location where I will shoot external lighting conditions; The camera that will be used lens, wind speed, etc. cannot be the same as each other.


1. The first thing you need to shoot a long exposure is a tripod, shutter remote cable, filter, and camera.

2. Put the camera on a tripod and find the composition first. If you want to zoom, zoom in as much as you want at once.

3. Once you have the desired composition, install the filter holder. Just attach the holder. The filter will be installed later.

4. For Long Exposure, instead of other modes, I will shoot with Manual Mode (M) as a priority. First, set the mode dial to manual and set the exposure first. Set the aperture to f/11 to f/16, f/20, etc. Don’t upload too many at once. You can change different apertures and take pictures. Keep the ISO to a minimum. At high camera, ISO can be lowered to 64. Then look at the exposure meter bar and measure the rest of the shutter speed.

5. For example, I will set the Exposure value to f/16 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed ​​1/125th.


6. The higher the stop number, the shorter the shutter speed. There are 2 stops, 4 stops, 6 stops, 8 stops, 10 stops, 15 stops, etc. Some will only know ND2/ND4/ND8/ND16/ND64…ND1000. I will explain the connection between the two.

Look at the equation below;

  • ND2 = 1 stop
  • ND4 = 2 stops
  • ND8 = 3 stops
  • ND16 = 4 stops
  • ND32 = 5 stops
  • ND64 = 6 stops
  • ND100 = 6 2⁄3 stops (6 or 7 stops)
  • ND128 = 7 stops
  • ND256 = 8 stops
  • ND400 = 8 2⁄3 stops (8 or 9 stops)
  • ND512 = 9 stops
  • ND100 (ND1024) = 10 stops

7. Waterfalls If you want to take pictures of fast moving clouds, set the shutter speed to about 30 seconds. If it’s longer than that, the pictures won’t look very good. Sea shores If the clouds are moving slowly, I will use about 6 stop to 10 stop ND. For other flora and fauna scenes, depending on the availability of light, try setting it to about 4 to 8 stops. Also, if the shutter speed is longer than 30 seconds, the camera will stop recording. He must have a minimum of 30 seconds. I don’t know if it’s available in higher model cameras. But the Nikon D850 still has a shutter speed of 30 seconds. If you want to shoot longer than 30 seconds, you have to shoot in Bulb mode. That’s why I asked you to bring the shutter remote cable.


8. If you need GND filters, install GND filters first, depending on the scenery to be shot, such as seascape or landscape. Make sure to cut the top and bottom section at the GND filter.

9. Composition is achieved. Once the exposure is set, the camera will open live view and focus will be cut. In the future, the view finder is no longer convenient. Live view and settings from the beginning.

10. If you have cut the focus, change the auto focus of the lens to manual focus. That is important. If you set about 10 stop ND, Auto Focus will not work. I don’t have to see anything in front of me anymore. It will be dark. I changed the focus from auto to manual. Shooting with ND filter with less stop is better than shooting with manual focus.

11. Then install the ND filter that you will use. You have to choose ND filters depending on the outside light conditions and how much exposure time you want to spend. If you want to hold it for a long time, choose a high stop, and if you don’t want it to be too Fri, you have to choose a low stop. It will be better if you can carry small filter pieces up to 4 stop to 10 stop.

12. If you have installed a 10 stop ND filter, reduce the shutter speed 1/125th of the Exposure Value written in number (5) (f/16 – ISO 100 – Shutter Speed ​​1/125th) by 10 stops. There is also a shutter speed table as well as a calculation method.


13. If you look in the software and reduce 1/125th by 10 stops, the shutter speed will be 8s (8 seconds). Everything else remains the same, just reduce the shutter speed to 8 seconds. So it’s long exposure. I shot in daylight with a 10 stop ND filter. If you shoot with a 6 stop ND filter instead of a 10 stop, the 6 stop reduction of 1/125th is only 1/2. It’s still not very comfortable. If the original shutter speed is about 1/4, reducing it by 6 stops will take 15s (15 seconds). So not so bad. If only a 15 stop ND filter was used, the 15 stop reduction of 1/125th would have to reach 4m (4 minutes). That’s quite a long time.

14. I haven’t been able to type yet. It’s a small thing, but it will seriously detract from the picture. You need to close the view finder. There are small view finder caps to close it. You can choose and buy according to the type of camera. Otherwise, cover the view finder with something like a cloth. That’s enough. Especially when shooting with your back to the sun, don’t forget to turn off the view finder.

15. Next, the filter holder has been installed, so the lens hood has been removed. Why wear a lens hood? To be beautiful? Lu Sheen Aung? not much. The main thing is to prevent unwanted light rays from hitting the lens. If the sun falls directly on the lens from the side, the image will have unwanted images. That’s why I use the Lens Hood. The round flower pattern on the lens hood is not for the sake of deliberate beauty. It is adjusted to be free from the view of the lens. I had to remove the lens hood, so when I was taking the picture, the book, the book, and the sun were coming from the side. Umbrella You need to protect the lens from the sun with something like a head.

This is (15). If it’s that perfect, we’ve got the Long Exposure feature that we really want to shoot. Just attach the shutter remote cable to the camera and press the shutter.

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