Breaking bad habits: how to add variety to your landscape photography portfolio

Breaking bad habits: how to add variety to your landscape portfolio

Experiment with long exposures

How to add variety to your landscape portfolio: experiment with long exposures

Using a 10-stop plain Neutral Density filter has allowed Jenny to use a 20-second exposure to smooth out the sea. It makes for a stark difference to the shot that used a 1/15 second exposure.

To help Jenny experiment with using long shutter speeds we take a short drive down to the coast, to catch the high tide of the Bristol Channel. We find a good spot where we can shoot a classic scene of Clevedon Pier.

With her Sony A700 set to the lowest ISO and her lens set to the smallest aperture, Jenny finds the slowest shutter speed that will give the correct exposure is 1/15sec.

As the sea is pretty calm, this isn’t slow enough for any blur to be visible in the waves.

So I show Jenny how fitting a plain ND8 (3-stop) Neutral Density filter allows her to use a shutter speed of 1/2 sec, and still get correctly exposed results.

But even at this slower shutter speed there’s only a small amount of blur in the sea. Jenny needs to use an even stronger filter to give her the option of using the extremely slow shutter speeds needed to blur the water.

With her camera on a tripod, I get Jenny to select Manual Exposure and Focus modes, and then attach an ND500 (10-stop) filter.

With an aperture of f/16, she can use a 20-second shutter speed, to smooth out the water completely, without overexposing the image.

PAGE 1: Breaking bad landscape photography habits
PAGE 2: Getting the right exposure
PAGE 3: Exploring shallow depth of field
PAGE 4: Experiment with shoot long exposures
PAGE 5: Three filters for shooting at slower shutter speeds
PAGE 6: Shot of the Day


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