Landscape Photography Vlogs

Using Long Exposure Photography to Exploit Bad Light

We don’t always get great landscape photography conditions. Bad light can be exploited though by using techniques such as long exposure and black and white photography. Especially when combined and edited using Silver Efex Pro from the NIK collection.

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In this video I head into the depths of the Yorkshire Dales for a day of landscape photography in some less than ideal conditions. 

It’s easy to imagine photographing a beautiful landscape in great weather. It’s warm, the sun is about to light up the evening sky and life is good. It’s an appealing experience that we chase over and over again. On the other hand amazing images can be captured in rough, stormy weather with unique conditions. But what about those grey days in between? Here in the UK we have a lot of them. They can be bleak and getting off the sofa to go out and take pictures is not an obvious choice. However, there are great shots to be captured in all conditions if we are willing to get creative.

One effective method to make the most of grey conditions and flat light is to use long exposure photography. It creates interest by smoothing out clouds and water and creating an ethereal feel. I have talked in depth about long exposure before:

See here - https://youtu.be/vKAu0IluyR4

Whilst grey conditions produce flat light it does not necessarily mean it is bad. An extreme long exposure of over two minutes essentially turns textures of the sky and water into smooth tones. It creates new possibilities with composition and the soft light adds to the overall fine art photography feel of the image. Combining this with a black and white conversion can add to the image even more and create something unique on a day when no other photographers were out.

Black and white images can be post processed much more heavily than colour images which creates extra creative possibilities, especially with contrast. Using Silver Efex Pro from the NIK collection is a brilliant way to edit black and white pictures. Whilst this video is not a silver Efex pro tutorial I go through the edit of the image I capture to show how the app can make your black and white images pop.

3 Ways to Long Exposure | Landscape Photography

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. 

Seascapes, sunsets and isolation - Landscape Photography Vlog

Spurn Point Vlog

I travel to Spurn Point in this landscape photography vlog. An amazing and isolated location that provides some stunning seascape and sunset photography opportunities.

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Remote Landscape Photography

When we are trying to capture our best landscape photography it often means travelling to remote and inaccessible locations. Spurn Point is one such place. It is a thin strip of land out on the East Yorkshire coast of the UK that juts out into the Humber estuary. It is full of military history and is an amazing yet strange place. In part due to its isolation and the weather conditions it must often be faced with. It is also an important wildlife sanctuary run by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

East coast seascape sunsets

It is also one of the very few places on the East coast of the UK where you can capture some decent seascape sunset photography. I headed out with a good weather forecast for golden hour and stopped off on route at the Humber bridge, one of the worlds longest suspension bridges. I had a little composition in mind for the bridge whilst I was still test out the 11mm wide angle prime lens.

Spurn Point is accessed only on foot by a causeway where a road used to stand. It was washed away by the rising sea levels during a storm several years ago. Crossing the causeway adds an element of drama to the day and you risk being cut off by the high tide.

Landscape photography wise my aim was to tell the story of Spurn Point. Capturing some beautiful seascapes and picking up a signature sunset shot at the end of the day with some beautiful colour in the sky was my plan. However proceedings were more difficult than I had anticipated and the feeling of isolation out there in the sea created an unnerving feeling.

In the end it was a successful landscape photography trip and I came away with 2-3 images that I am very happy with.

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My video photography blogs are designed to entertain and document how I go about capturing my work. If it provides tips and inspiration along the way then please share it with your friends so more people can benefit from the content. If you enjoyed this photography vlog I would really appreciate it if you subscribed to the channel so you can come along for the journey.

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