Daytime long exposure: photography tips for smoothing water and blurring skies

Daytime long exposure: photography tips for smoothing water and blurring skies

The best way to set up your camera for daytime long exposures

The best way to set up your camera for daytime long exposures

If the line is red on the electronic level, it means the camera isn’t level and the horizon will slope in the frame

It’s important to take your time setting up your camera for a long exposure. Keeping the camera steady is a must, so make sure your tripod’s legs are on a firm base; make good use of any ledges or holes in rocks, or push the feet into sand or shingle.

If it has one, take advantage of your DSLR’s electronic level: hit the Info button until it’s displayed on the rear screen, then tilt the camera left or right until the line turns green: this will ensure that your horizon is level.

Loosely compose your shot, check the level, then fine-tune the framing. If you have an older camera body, you may need to use a hotshoe-mounted bubble level instead.

Finally, make use of Live View. With a strong ND filter in front of the lens it can be hard if not impossible to make out the image through the viewfinder.

PAGE 1: Using ND filters for daytime long exposures
PAGE 2: How slow can you go in your daytime long exposure?
PAGE 3: Calming the waters
PAGE 4: The best way to set up your camera for daytime long exposures

READ MORE

How to calculate hyperfocal distance: free photography cheat sheet
10 things photographers can do to stop wasting pictures
10 tips for using your 10-stop ND filter
How to see photos like famous photographers every time you shoot