Whether shooting at night or in the daytime with neutral density filters, shooting long exposures isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem. There’s movement to consider, as well as various camera settings that might hinder your experience. But photographer Gordon Laing is here to take away all your troubles in this very extensive guide to long exposure photography.
There isn’t really that much difference between shooting long exposures at night vs during the day. The same principles apply to both. The only real change is that during the day, you’ll need some neutral density filters to help cut the amount of light entering through your lens and hitting the sensor.
Laing’s 21-minute video certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s an in-depth tutorial that’s going to require a good sit down with a drink. You’re probably going to want to have your camera handy to adjust some settings (like turning off long-exposure noise reduction), you’ll probably want to make notes, and you might need to watch some parts 2 or 3 times.
Sure, you can figure out long exposure photography yourself with a little experimenting. But without any guidance, this can be a very long and slow process, especially if you don’t know what you might do differently until you get home and look at what you’ve already shot. It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of specific issues. So, this video should give you some good guidance, and allow to keep experimenting and trying different things before you’ve even seen the results.
If you still have questions after watching the video, you can also check out Laing’s book, In Camera, where he talks about 100 of his favourite photographs and exactly how each was created.