How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

Started Apr 14, 2008 | Discussions
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Ratte Regular Member • Posts: 136
How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

I would like to expose slow on some moving objects in daylight, but I am not sure how to do it without overexposing the image. The only way I can think of is by increasing the f/ number, but that too is somewhat limiting. Can anyone recommend some techniques?

Thank you.

Thomas Comerford Veteran Member • Posts: 9,745
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

The best way to do it is to use a Neutral Density filter.

Ratte wrote:

I would like to expose slow on some moving objects in daylight, but I
am not sure how to do it without overexposing the image. The only way
I can think of is by increasing the f/ number, but that too is
somewhat limiting. Can anyone recommend some techniques?

Thank you.

-- hide signature --
stash Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

You could also try a Polarizer filter to help reduce the exposure.

stash Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

another trick: From Nikonians

  1. 7. "RE: Advice needed for a Netural density fiter."

In response to Reply # 6

Hello David:

You are right, the manual isn’t the best source for a detailed explanation. Follow my own experience:

1) Set up “Multiple exposure” (D200 English Manual at page 86-87). First of all you have to decide the “filter factor” between 2 to ten. Remind f-stops are logarithmic so

3-fstops = 8X
2-fstops = 4X
1-fstop = 2X

Enter this value in the step number two described in the manual (page 86).

Now, the “trick”: set gain to “on” in the step number five (page 86). When auto-gain is off, it will work exactly as a (traditional) film camera, where each exposure will sum to the previous one. When the auto-gain is set to on, the miracle of the Electronics will act and after each individual shot the camera automatically will attenuate the contents of the individual image by the factor 1/(number of exposures). After shot the full series, the camera will add each individual frame to result the final image.

Voila, you got the ND!

2) You can stop to read this stuff if you plan to shot each individual exposure manually (use a tripod and remote release). You will got the final image without problems.

On the other hand you can use the “Interval Timer” to shot the full series with no human intervention but to start the sequence. It is a must for me because I do not have a remote release yet.

It is described in the pages 89 thru 92 of the English edition of D200 Manual.

In the step two of the described procedure, I select “now”. It means the camera will start shot a couple of seconds after my setups.

You need some care to select Interval between shots. It is higher than the exposure time. If you are using 30 seconds for each exposure you need select something 33 seconds, per example. Be caution: if the (long exposure) noise reduction is activated you will need more: 55 seconds is enough for D200 (the black frame is shot at shorter time than the actual exposure).

Interval = number of shots in your sequence (2 to 10); Shots = 1.

Start!

Of course you need to set up firstly the “Multiple exposure” (step 1 above) and with no shot made manually set up the interval timer.

The correct exposure (aperture & actual time) is made as usual because you are not using a real filter and the exposures will be reduced according the number of total shots to be combined.

Hope it is a little bit clear now.  

Regards

O.Cristo - An Amateur Photographer

Alert

roblarosa
roblarosa Senior Member • Posts: 2,119
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

Use a neutral density filter. I used a three stop ND filter and a small aperture to take the shot below at 1pm on a partly cloudy day. The exposure was 75 seconds and blurred the moving clouds nicely.

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mactac
mactac Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

nice. how do you figure out what exposure time to use? guess?

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MagicNikon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,445
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

The meter is TTL and should still be of some help.

mactac wrote:

nice. how do you figure out what exposure time to use? guess?

-- hide signature --

I've upped my ISO, now up yours.

roblarosa
roblarosa Senior Member • Posts: 2,119
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

mactac wrote:

nice. how do you figure out what exposure time to use? guess?

In this case I initially guessed about 60 seconds and then adjusted from there. On this particular day, 75 seconds was the sweet spot.

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Ronald Hoppus Regular Member • Posts: 302
ND filter?

May I ask what type and brand of ND filters you are using..... Nice capture BTW!
--
Ron

mactac
mactac Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

see, I can't seem to not overexpose doing this.

I have 2 4x ND filters on my camera, set for smallest aperture and a shutter time of 20s. It's daytime, but overcast so it's not all that bright

overexposes every time. If I set it to 6s or so, it's ok

How do I get exposures longer than 6s?

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Thomas Comerford Veteran Member • Posts: 9,745
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

Unless you can lower your ISO some more, the only alternative is to get a stronger ND filter. I use a 3-stop filter at the moment, but I'm thinking of buying a 6-stop filter.

mactac wrote:

see, I can't seem to not overexpose doing this.

I have 2 4x ND filters on my camera, set for smallest aperture and a
shutter time of 20s. It's daytime, but overcast so it's not all that
bright

overexposes every time. If I set it to 6s or so, it's ok

How do I get exposures longer than 6s?

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bob elkind Veteran Member • Posts: 5,813
an alternative to ND filter

first, take a test image stopped down to verify metering/exposure.

next, set to manual while copying the aperture and shutter speeds from the test shot (if you were happy with exposure).

If you want a 30 second exposure and proper exposure calls for 1 second, then take at least 30 1-second exposures with the manual settings.

In photoshop, layer as many of the 1-second shots as needed to attain the effect you want, setting the "opaqueness" of each layer appropriately. You can simplify this a bit further by layering 5 shots at a time, each with 20% opaqueness. This gives you a smaller number of 5-second equivalent shots to then layer once again.

By the way, the $50 US Elements version of Photoshop will accomplish this technique nicely, you don't need the $700 version of the program.

This first time I saw this technique described was in this same forum a year or two ago, and it has an interesting benefit...

Let's say you want to capture a small creek with running water, in fairly bright light, and you want both shallow depth of field and blurring of the water's motion for your resulting mage. Shallow DOF requires wide open aperture which results in fast shutter. Long shutter (for softening/blurring the water) requires closing the aperture way down. The answer is to set aperture for the desired DOF, then set shutter speed for proper exposure, and take as many shots as needed to aggregate the desired shutter speed for achieving the desired softening effect on the running water. Back at the studio, layer the individual shots into a single image, using Photoshop or an equivalent tool.

I hope this is useful to you, and others. I found it to be thoroughly ingenious, and well worth my time to read these forums.

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mactac
mactac Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

what about that example posed? its a 3 stop, with over 1min exposure, and it looks great

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mactac
mactac Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: an alternative to ND filter

the camera can do that all automatically with multiple exposures & auto gain without any PP.

Problem is, it's not nearly as smooth as a continually open shutter

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Thomas Comerford Veteran Member • Posts: 9,745
Re: How to expose slow in daylight without overexposing?

mactac wrote:

what about that example posed? its a 3 stop, with over 1min exposure,
and it looks great

Hmm... that description doesn't add up though. If a three stop filter gave a 75 second exposure, then the shutter speed would be about 9 seconds with no filter.

Even on a very overcast day, at f/32 and ISO 100 I wouldn't expect to get shutter a speed longer than 1 second, without overexposing the clouds.

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arkoc Contributing Member • Posts: 572
2x polarizing filters.

I use two CP filters. You can rotate them to change from dark (parallel) to opaque (perpendicular).

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bob elkind Veteran Member • Posts: 5,813
followup questions...

I don't have a D300, just an obsolete D200, so please be kind with my followup questions and points...

Some shooters (myself included), given the choice between delegating control to the camera body or retaining direct control in post-processing, prefer to control the final image on the PC/Mac - where there is much greater flexibility and depth to the available tools.

mactac wrote:

the camera can do that all automatically with multiple exposures &
auto gain without any PP.

1. Is there a limit on the number of exposures in the set of multiples ? Can you specify a huge number of exposures (e.g. up to 100) ?

2. Does the D300 leave intact the individual exposures in a multi-exposure set, in case you realise after the fact that too many exposures were requested ?

Problem is, it's not nearly as smooth as a continually open shutter

3. Is this a camera issue, or a tripod issue ?

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LeRoy Michaelson Regular Member • Posts: 264
Great Idea

That is an incredible idea!

arkoc wrote:

I use two CP filters. You can rotate them to change from dark
(parallel) to opaque (perpendicular).

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Read, think, reply. Think, post. Read, think. Repeat as necessary.

Achievements: I joined the squirrel club, WWSSA #87 baby!
I've also narrowed down the last digit of Pi to one of ten options.
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landmarks4711 Contributing Member • Posts: 906
ND filter grade 8

Ratte wrote:

I would like to expose slow on some moving objects in daylight, but I
am not sure how to do it without overexposing the image. The only way
I can think of is by increasing the f/ number, but that too is
somewhat limiting. Can anyone recommend some techniques?

Thank you.

mactac
mactac Regular Member • Posts: 287
Re: ND filter grade 8

AS I mentioned already, I am already using 2x grade 4 filters. I'm still overexposing anything more than 8s or so

how is it that the example that was posted is exposed for more than a minute, yet i can't get over 8s?

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