3 Ways to Long Exposure | Landscape Photography / by Adam Karnacz

Long exposure photography is the order of the day and I share three of my methods for capturing the shot. I also discuss the merits of landscape photography and storytelling during this sunrise photo shoot.

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Long exposure provides a new way to look at the world. Capturing a relatively long period of time in one photograph. It creates an illusion of movement in the image and creates an ethereal mood that invokes feelings of serenity and wonder. Long Exposure has been the basis of my landscape photography for many many years and it is one of the first techniques I consider when I am visualising my image. I love the extra story telling capacity that a long exposure photograph can portray.

Landscape Photography with a twist

The above is achieved by creating context in the scene. It is the stark contrast between static objects in the frame against the movement of things like water and clouds. This juxtaposition on it’s own can expand the story. The power and speed of a waterfall, the direction of clouds and the wind; can all be deduced from a long exposure photograph. These subtle details all n part of a landscape and affect your attitude and feeling towards.

3 Long Exposure Photography Methods

In the video I detail three ways in which I capture my long exposures. First is simply by utilising dull conditions such as sunrise, sunset or during overcast weather conditions. Setting your aperture at around f16 and ISO at 100 will allow a shutter speed of at least a few seconds without the use of any filters. 

ND Filters

Secondly is about using a long shutter speed during sunset and sunrise. I achieve this through bracketing using a 6 stop ND filter. The maximum shutter speed using this technique will normally be about 30 seconds.

2 Minutes and More

Lastly, I do extreme long exposures. Shutter speeds of 2 minutes or more using stacked ND filters up to 16 stops of total light reduction. These can be technically difficult to shoot because any slight movement can result in a less than sharp image. Noise from the sensor also becomes a problem and some cameras can be worse than others.

An exciting part of landscape photography, long shutter speed images are another tool you have in your arsenal to tell your story.