Long Exposure No Neutral Density Filter

For a long time I have wanted to venture into the realm of long exposures, the prices of dreaded Lee filters, contradicting opinions on the value of such expensive filters vs the value and effect of low priced Camdiox, and finally the hopeless versions of glass you would attach to your Samyang 14mm f/2.8 just utterly useless, pricy and cumbersome.

This new technique (for me) quickly has become my favorite technique, when shooting water. The use of long exposure photography but without a filter, keeping the shutter open for an extended period of time, creates the unique effect of smooth and silky looking water.

The technique explained

You take a number of exposures for arguments sake 10 exposures with the same settings of 30sec, f/22 at ISO100. What happens is when you combine these photos in the post processing they become number of exposures times 30sec giving you a exposure of 5 minutes and here is the neat thing the ISO-100 is to be divided by the number of exposures giving you an effective ISO-10. If you have been shooting Milkyway you possibly have been using this technique to remove noise.

You could argue that you could use this technique handheld, but to my experience is the success rate too low. This technique is depending on a tripod as the photo has to be aligned perfectly.

Photoshop Steps

Open your photos in camera raw, do your adjustments and load them all into photo shop

Next step is the stack the photos, and convert them into smart objects

Next step is to change the blend mode, to mean

1 thought on “Long Exposure No Neutral Density Filter

  1. henrikbruuncom 07/03/2016 — 13:14

    i have now look through your article, nice work, and first comment. Its very nice to see the long exposure technigue combined with the hdr technique and no photos are screaming out “HDRi” or “LONG EXPOSURE”. in my opinion its a common mistake that any techniques is use so hard that you notice its right away. They are meant to enforce a certain look, not to drag all attension from the motive. – Jørgen Guldmann you managed to keep a low – almost invisible level of adding these as a Chief add spices to his dish.. – to flavour a photo, not kill it.. i do prefer when its kept suttle… and now dont get me started about photos of very high saturated and contrasty photos… put it short. well done

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