12 Jan Have a little patience – a guide to successful long exposure images

Source: Fujifilm X Blog

1 X-Photographer strip BLACK By Paul Sanders

paul-sandersFor me personally, long exposure (LE) photography allows me to explore a sense of calm, a visual relaxation that matches the way I feel when I look at the landscape. But for some, the technical side of this style of photography makes it incredibly frustrating and stressful.

Before we get into the technical side of LE photography and counting exposure increase on our fingers and toes, there is something that is far more important than the technical issues. It is vision, interpretation and connection with your subject.

Ansel Adams said “A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.”

You have to be able to connect your emotions to the landscape around you. It’s no good just shooting lots of images in the hope of getting one good one, shoot one good one that really captures how you feel and perhaps take a second image. If nothing else, long exposure work will stop you shooting lots of images, the thing you’ll need in abundance is patience and not memory cards.

Lets get down to business and make long exposure a simple creative exercise rather than something that seems baffling to some people because of the exposure calculations.

Here are my top tips to get you shooting beautiful long exposure images.

The kit

You’ll need a camera with a “B” setting in the shutter speed range plus either an electronic or screw-in cable release with a lock and ideally a self timer – all Fujifilm X Series cameras have built-in self timers. You’ll need a sturdy tripod, a set of neutral density (ND) filters and some graduated neutral density filters.

Now it’s the filters that are the key bit of equipment that you should pay attention to. Which ones you choose to purchase will depend on your budget BUT, and it is a big BUT, brands like Lee Filters and Formatt Hitech are without a doubt (in my opinion) better in both manufacture, consistency of colour and density than others.

You can shoot long exposures on any lens, so don’t always stick a wide angle on and think it will make the best focal length for this type of work – lens choice is personal and entirely related to the subject. The lens I use most is my

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