Monday, September 13, 2010
Ten Long-Exposure Photography Tips—09/13/10
Long exposures can make amazing images
7. Set your white balance manually. Use a gray card to set a custom white balance to match the tricky color balances that often occur in low-light, long-exposure situations. Failing a custom setting, just use a camera white-balance preset. Whatever you do, just don’t use auto white balance or you run the risk of rendering colors incorrectly.
8. Shoot RAW and apply noise reduction. The longer the exposure the more opportunity for noise in a digital image file. To minimize this, capture RAW files that can be more effectively manipulated in postproduction. Then reduce that noise by utilizing controls in RAW processing (with programs such as Aperture, Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw).
9. Set up before dark. Long exposures often happen in dim light or even after dark. The problem with working in the dark is that it can be hard to see, and that’s especially challenging when working with a camera. To solve this, many photographers use small flashlights to illuminate their camera controls. It’s a perfectly acceptable fix, but it doesn’t help with one major other factor: composition. Pointing your camera at a dark scene makes it really hard to find the right framing. So arrive early and set up your camera, adjust your controls and choose your composition while there’s still light in the sky.
10. Try using a long exposure even in daytime light. Just because the light isn’t especially low doesn’t mean you can’t use a long exposure. Add a neutral-density filter (or an extreme 10-stop ND filter) to help reduce the light entering the camera and increase the shutter speed. The motion-blurring effects achieved by a very long daytime exposure can turn otherwise mundane scenes into something really special—and only achievable with long exposures.
Page 2 of 2