Pete's Travel Tip #1 • Time Exposures by Day

Tip #1

Shooting Time Exposures in Daylight.

One of the cooler effects you can achieve with a strong N.D., or Neutral Density filter is the ability to reduce the light reaching the sensor so much, that you can actually do a time exposure of a few seconds even in bright daylight. 

This creates a rather unworldly look to images shot in bright sunshine. With careful use of a sturdy tripod, anything in the frame that is moving around reproduces as a blur or streak, depending on it's movement during the exposure time. Set that against a fixed background, and things get very interesting visually!

A standard 0.9, or 3 stop N.D. Filter won't give you this affect, however. You really need a Variable N.D. filter, composed of 2 polarizers that can be rotated against each other. This allows for variable light reduction from around 2.75 to 8 stops, depending on the angle of rotation. Another option is a 3.0 N.D. filter, that provides around 10 stops of fixed light reduction. 

In this example, I used a 3.0 N.D. Filter on my camera fitted with a 24mm lens exposing for 8 seconds at f 11.0

A Manfrotto tripod was used to hold the camera steady for the duration of the exposure.

Stay tuned for tip #2!

If you have any Q's feel free to ask....!

Thanks,

Pete Stone

www.nwphotoschool.com

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

Comments

Total comments: 5
petestone
By petestone (Sep 30, 2011)

The designation N.D. 3.0 comes from the fact that 0.3 density equals 1 stop light reduction. Therefore 3.0 would represent 10 times this amount of light reduction.
Using a filter like this in daylight to capture lightning is an interesting idea....
Let me know if you give it a try!
Pete
www.petestone.com

0 upvotes
petestone
By petestone (Sep 30, 2011)

The designation N.D. 3.0 comes from the fact that 0.3 density equals 1 stop light reduction. Therefore 3.0 would represent 10 times this amount of light reduction.
Using a filter like this in daylight to capture lightning is an interesting idea....
Let me know if you give it a try!
Pete
www.petestone.com

0 upvotes
bobpark
By bobpark (Sep 30, 2011)

Thanks for your article! Your photo is really cool. Why does a 10 stop ND have a designation of 3.0?

I like to photograph lightning, but I only do it after dusk because of the longer exposure times needed to increase my chances of "catching" lightning. I bet this trick would make daylight lightning pictures attainable. Have you any thoughts?

0 upvotes
digitall
By digitall (Sep 29, 2011)

A useful tip, many thanks!

0 upvotes
dylanbarnhart
By dylanbarnhart (Sep 29, 2011)

Nice photo. I like the fact that some objects are static and others show motion.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 5