Long exposure photos of the sea

Discussion in 'Other Genres' started by garethwi, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. garethwi

    garethwi TalkEmount Regular

    95
    Sep 2, 2011
    Netherlands
    Gareth
    I spent two evenings trying my best to make some good long exposure photos of the sea, but only this one came out well enough for me to show it off.

    The main experience I gained from this is that you can never weigh your tripod down enough.

    Anyway, here's the photo:

     
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  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Very nice
     
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  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    That's a great photo! :thumbup:
    I'd probably darken the photo if it were mine (bring down the exposure perhaps) ;)
     
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  4. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    How long was it?
    I noticed that those who do this type of photo use generally ND400 or ND1000 filters so that they can have several minutes of long exposure. I think I've seen 10 or 12 minutes. In this case they're likely to use ND1000 filters and in the evening so that it's not over exposed. I think you can also try to convert it into black and white and add contrasts. What do you think?


    My flickr: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/118310489@N03/
     
  5. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Gareth - Nice job. With long exposures, it's best to err on the side of under exposing since blowing the highlights in the sky is the biggest problem. As for the tripod. You want to get a sturdy tripod, make sure the legs can spread really wide to create a good low base. The former will mitigate the impact of the wind. I don't know how long an exposure this picture is, I would guess it is less than 1 minute since the water still has some texture. As Christian noted. In order to get longer exposures you do need a strong ND or shoot pitch black at ISO 100.

    If you look at my first shot in this post https://www.talkemount.com/showthread.php?t=7265&highlight=delaware I used a ND400 filter just beyond sunset. It was so dark I had to use my phone as a flashlight to see the camera. I wanted the Delaware River to be quiet and create a glass like surface to reflect the clouds. After exposures of 30 seconds, 1 minute, and 3 minutes. I finally got it right at 2 1/2 minutes. I am pretty good at it now, but I practiced a lot and blew out plenty skies before I was comfortable posting something that wasn't embarrassing.
     
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  6. garethwi

    garethwi TalkEmount Regular

    95
    Sep 2, 2011
    Netherlands
    Gareth

    Sounds like a good idea. It was a 30 second exposure.
     
  7. garethwi

    garethwi TalkEmount Regular

    95
    Sep 2, 2011
    Netherlands
    Gareth

    Thanks for the advice. As soon as I'm near water again, I'll have another go.
     
  8. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Use the BULB mode. As the live view can't preview the result as it doesn't know how long will be he exposure, you'll have to try different shutter speeds. It might take time before the ideal setting. Usely, with this kind of landscapes, the longer the exposure, the better the result is... As Gary said, 2-3 minutes sounds almost the minimum. You can check on flickr the ones who did this and look at their EXIF so that you can reproduce it later :p
     
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  9. garethwi

    garethwi TalkEmount Regular

    95
    Sep 2, 2011
    Netherlands
    Gareth
    Thanks for the advice. I'll work hard to improve before I post again.
     
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    As I'm sure Gary would agree, much depends on what kind of effect you're trying to achieve. This one here was only 2.5 secs. long.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Oh of course I agree with you David, my advice was based only on Gareth's picture.
     
  12. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    That's correct David. You can't really use anyone else's scene as a guide. Each exposure is dependent on what you are trying to accomplish within the environment you are doing it in. In beach shots, if the water is still and the sky is dark then a shorter exposure can usually do the trick.

    If you have a bunch of waves and you want to eliminate them, then a longer exposure is necessary depending on the size of the waves the sky, etc. The only time you need exposures longer than a 3 minutes is to eliminate objects. For example if you are shooting an area where you can't control people moving into the frame. You can do a super long exposure of several minutes. Because they are only in the frame for a small percentage of the exposure, they are effectively eliminated. I think you were trying to get a shot like this.

    14600175027_9ba5a6c918_c. Everthing is foggy by iShootPics (westOkid), on Flickr

    The conditions allowed me to accomplish it in a 65 second bulb shot. Notice the waves are completely flattened out and the clouds are blurred. It was windy so leaving it longer was not ideal for what I wanted. If I went with a longer exposure, the clouds would have lost their definition creating a completely different scene.
     
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  13. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    I don't agree, it's far from being the only reason we would need very long exposures. If you want very graphic or artistic waterscapes, that's often the kind of exposure used.

    I had this kind of picture in mind:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/38181284@N06/14547817190/
    Or even this one:

    South Shields II par Silent Eagle  Photography, sur Flickr

    These are more than 2 minutes. I sometimes saw much more.


    My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/118310489@N03/
     
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  14. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Christian - I am not sure we are saying something different. What I am saying is to achieve the artistic affect you have to know the affect you are shooting for. From there the scene will dictate what exposure is needed to achieve that affect. At some point the longer shutter isn't changing much. I have done anywhere from 1 second to 10 minutes practicing these effects over the past couple of months before I posted anything. I took the advice of a friend that does this a lot. Those shots could have been longer or shorter and still had the same affect if the water and sky dictated it. I can send you a shot of the dock I shot doubling the 65 second exposure and it doesn't change the dreamlike water but it does affect the clouds. Below is a shot at 2.5 minutes bulb mode. My clouds are still because they were moving much slower that in my other picture or the one you posted.

    Calm and Balance by iShootPics (westOkid), on Flickr

    I tried longer and it did not look as good as the clouds became blurrier, I tried shorter and it didn't achieve the look I wanted because the water wasn't right. Now if the water was rougher, or the sky was darker, or lighter, or it was less windy and the clouds were not moving, my exposure time would vary to create the same scene. You can't just look at exif and duplicate an effect.

    Also wanted to add. I have been experimenting with multiple exposures to freeze certain object like clouds and still create the dreamlike affect on the water. That's for another time. :)
     
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  15. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
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