In this quick guide to long-exposure photography, you’ll learn how to get long-exposure shots perfect, every time. Let’s get into it.
What You’ll Need
Any DSLR or mirrorless camera will do. As long as you’re able to configure the shoot settings manually.
The tripod stabilises the camera throughout the exposure time, ensuring the image is clean and crisp.
Remote Timer [BONUS]
Most camera’s longest exposure time is 30 seconds. A remote timer allows you to keep the shutter open for as long as you need.
Once you’ve found your location and scene, set up the camera on the tripod, with your composition ready to shoot. Drop your ISO to the lowest setting possible (usually 100). Set your shutter speed to the lowest setting for the longest exposure time (If you have a remote shutter release, set the shutter speed to BULB) and close your aperture to ensure as little light as possible hits the sensor throughout the process. Finally, set your self-timer to anything above 2 seconds. Doing so will allow you to initiate the shot and remove your hand from the camera, ensuring there is no shake in the image.
Once you’re all set up and ready, hit the shutter release and STEP AWAY from the camera. The longer your shutter remains open, the more light hits the sensor; the shorter, the less light that hits the sensor.
So, you’ll want a longer exposure time for darker environments and shorter exposure time for brighter environments. Depending on how long you want the long-exposure to run for and the environmental lighting.