Looking at breathtaking long exposures like the one above, you can’t help but be mesmerized.
The alteration of time as we perceive it can turn any old scene into something much more visually impactful.
The key, of course, is understanding what to do – and what not to do – to get a great long exposure photograph.
Let’s explore a few long exposure mistakes you need to avoid.
Long Exposure Mistake #1: Using Low-Quality Filters
One of the best ways of getting the long shutter speeds you need to blur movement is to use a neutral density filter.
Neutral density filters like the 6-stop Formatt-Hitech ND Filter shown above, have a consistent level of filtering throughout the glass to block light from entering the lens.
These filters come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and have different filtering power as well.
For example, compare the 6-stop filter above with the 1-stop filter below. Naturally, the darker the filter, the more light that’s blocked out and the longer the shutter speed can be.
The whole point of a neutral density filter is to reduce light without impacting the colors of the scene.
If you utilize high-quality filters like those from Formatt-Hitech, you’ll get just that – beautiful colors and gorgeously blurred movement.
However, cheap filters often change the colors of the shot, which means you’ll either have a degraded image or you’ll have to spend more time in post-processing trying to fix the problem.
The moral of the story is that since the filter goes in front of your lens, you want to get the best filter you can afford.
After all, what’s the point of having a nice camera and a solid lens if you just cover it with a cheap, poorly made filter?!