You must have seen those landscape photos in which dramatic clouds are stretched across the sky and the water looks extremely soft, almost magical. If you think that these were just master manipulations, well, you are in for a surprise. This technique is referred to as long exposure landscape photography. You can transform a mundane-looking landscape into a dramatic piece of art that will put the viewers in trance.
Although the idea behind this technique is simple, just keep the shutter open for a longer time. But, in reality, it can be much more difficult. Read along to understand what are the key factors that contribute to forming a great long exposure image.
Essential Tips for Long Exposure Landscape Photography
Choose Your Landscape
In a long exposure, the outcome is always far away from what the eye sees. The main idea is to take the movement from a scene and put it on your canvas. Therefore, the first step is to envision the landscape that you want to shoot. For instance, it can either be urban, natural, or even seascape. This will help you to determine what kind of movement you want on your image, which can be crashing waves, car streaks, or even grassy plains.
Neutral Density Filters
Recommended Settings for Long Exposure Landscape Photography
To get the best shots, you are going to need the help of the exposure triangle. Try to shoot in RAW to retain the maximum amount of information and details.
Pay Attention to the Composition
Track the Sun
Photo edited in Lightroom.
Lastly, before taking your final shot, you need to take some test shots. The purpose of these shots is to determine whether you have the right settings dialed in. Also, it may help with the exposure of the image.
For this purpose, you need to learn how to read the histogram of the image. The histogram needs to be balanced and should not be too much on either of the extreme sides. Too much to the left would mean dominant blacks, whereas right would mean more highlights. The trick is in keeping it balanced.
Conclusion - Long Exposure Landscape Photography
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