On Thursday, January 9 2014, Danielle Austen gave a presentation at our club about long exposures for landscape photography. During this lecture she gave a lot of information about long exposures and now she has been kind enough to share a summary of the night with us.
Shutter Speed - Most Important
The longer length of time will show more motion... cloud movement, smoothness of the water, waves will create a mist like appearance, etc...
This can be flexible, as to compensate for the shutter speed. But you want enough range to get the subject and landscape in focus.
Using the lowest setting possible will allow you a longer exposer (shutter speed). Also better quality image... less noise visible. ex: 50 ISO or 100 ISO
This leaves the image uncompressed (unlike a jpg). This also allows you to have better color correction and fix images that have not been properly exposed.
Also allows for better enlargements.
Note that shooting RAW will take up more space on the disk.
... if exposure is over 30 seconds
The mirror can cause the camera to shake if left down.
Once set, click on the shutter once and the mirror will go up, wait a second for the camera to settle, then click the shutter a second time and the picture will be taken.
Using Neutral Density Filters can be difficult to use automatic focus... better to focus manually then put on the Neutral Density Filters.
Cable Release & Remotes...Corded & Wireless
Vello Shutterboss Version II Timer Remote Switch
This will connect directly to the camera. Featuring specialized functionality such as continuous shooting, self-timer, long time exposures, and interval shooting. Depending on your camera you need to buy the remote with the correct connection. Check the manual of your camera for more information about the connection type you should buy. Below are just a few options.
Neutral Density Filters
A neutral density filter’s objective is to provide optical density that is color-neutral. If you have lenses that are different size openings, 67mm and 77mm you can use use Step-Up Rings to be able to screw on the 77mm filters to fit the other openings. This saves cost over buying filters for each lens opening.
This is a 10 Stop Filter - almost black
Great for shooting during daylight hours.
The filter is designed with a built-in rotating ring that controls neutral density ranging from 2 - 8 stops (0.6- 2.4).
*This is great filter to start with.
Cokin H250 P-Series ND Grad Kit
Three filters: 121L (1 stop), 121M (2 stops) and 121S (3 stops) - Can be used separately or together.
Often it is necessary or desirable to balance the light intensity in one part of a scene with another. This is especially true in situations where you don’t have total light control, as in bright contrasty landscapes.
Danielle Austen has more information about long exposures for landscape photography in this PDF file.
Two of Danielle's photos