Water Flow

For this tip,  you will NEED a good tripod for the long exposures of the water showing movement. You may also want to use filters for the images if they are taken during the brightness of the day.

We use what are known as ND Filters for these images. ND(Neutral Density) filters come in various degrees of shades to take away light. Each filter has a rating of how much light it TAKES AWAY. Why would you want to take light away? Remember, that if you are doing long exposures such as 3 or 4 seconds or even longer, you are allowing a great amount of light in as the shutter is open so long. Even with your Aperture set at a setting like F-22 ( Small opening) you still may have too much light. These filters allow the photographer to photograph long exposures in daylight situations. We keep two ND filters in our bag. A #4 rating( 4stops of light decreased) and a #8 rating( 8stops of light decreased) . We find we use the 8 the most and have even doubled them up for very long exposures. We don’t buy for every lens. We purchase the largest lens size (NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH FOCAL LENGTH) and then just hand hold over the smaller lenses if using them. You can find the lens size such as 77mm as an example, on the inside of your lens rim.

When taking the images, you will also want to make sure there is absolutely NO CAMERA shake. You MUST use either a shutter release cable OR hit the self timer to make sure the camera does not have movement from your touch or it will have “shake” in the image. This is crucial for any long exposures, not only this assignment, but anytime you are working with a long exposure.

Critical equipment needs for this.

  • Tripod
  • Shutter Release
  • ND Filters

Notice the difference in the two images! The first was shot at 160th of a Second F 4. The second was at 3 seconds at F22. Both were ISO 100. Both images have exact same amount of light control, but with totally different characteristics to the finished image! Such a DRAMATIC difference by using the longer shutter speed. The # 8 ND filter was used for the long exposure image.