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Tips & Tricks

Simple Trick for Long Exposure Photography Without Using a Filter

By Hanssie on June 13th 2015

Who doesn’t love the look of long exposure photography? The peaceful, serene waters underneath a clear blue sky of clouds makes a landscape scene look almost surreal. To create long exposure photography, especially in the daytime, you usually need some sort of filter. Otherwise, your images will be overexposed because it’s too bright.

[REWIND: USING ND FILTERS TO CREATE MOTION BLUR IN BRIGHT SUN – HOW WE SHOT IT]

In the video below, Joshua Cripps gives us a simple photography hack to allow us to shoot long exposures without using filters. It’s one of those simple tips that makes you wonder why you didn’t think of it, but effective nevertheless. Using this method, Josh promises that “you can double, triple, or even 10-tuple your shutter speed without blowing out your image.” Though I’m not certain that 10-tuple is an actual word recognized by Websters, the hack is using the multiple exposure mode on your camera. This will take the average of all of the images, creating a long exposure using a bunch of short exposure shots. All you need to get started is a tripod, your camera set to continuous shooting mode and a remote.

For a 3 second photo, you can create a 30-second equivalent photograph as seen in the image below.

long-exposure-photography-hack-1

It’s not a perfect hack (and honestly, few are) because not all cameras offer the multiple exposure mode, but if your camera is one of the lucky ones, then you can leave your filter at home!

Watch Long Exposure Photography…… Without Filters!

Is this a hack you think you might try? If so, comment below with how it works for you!

[Via ISO1200]

Terms: #Exposure
About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

23 Comments

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  1. Khaa Roosh

    Good tips for photographers https://cardtricks.info

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  2. Gabriel Rodriguez

    Im a big fan of long exposures…will definitely have to give this a shot.

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  3. Kris Cox

    I just spent over $300 on ND filters and stepdowns … I will have to go home and see of my D610 has ‘multiple exposures’ and try this trick out!!

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  4. Tim Buerck

    nice.

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  5. Brandon Dewey

    Awesome tip, I’m going to try this!

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  6. Hannes Nitzsche

    totally gonna give this a shot! at the moment I use a screw-in 10-stop ND filter and a black piece of card (black card technique) to darken down the sky so that it equalizes the brightness of foreground and sky in the final image. But this method can be hit and miss – especially if the horizon isn’t straight. This seems like an easier option :) Cheers

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    • Thomas Horton

      I am not familiar with the “black card technique” could you explain it in small words so I could understand it?

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    • Hannes Nitzsche

      Hi Thomas, first-up – the black card technique works only on long exposures.

      Imagine the following scenario: You have a beautiful sunset scene in front of you. Let’s say you have your camera set to Aperture priority, now move your focus point over the foreground and take a reading of the exposure time necessary to expose the foreground properly (let’s say this takes 25 seconds). Now remember the time and move the focus point up into the sky and take another reading – let’s assume this is going to be 10 seconds. Change your focus point back to the foreground or switch to manual mode and dial in 25 seconds as exposure time.
      Now all you do is take a MATTE black piece of card (it needs to be large enough to cover your lens and a bit more), and hold it in front of your lens to COVER THE SKY ONLY. Now, while you take your photo, hold the card in that position, covering the sky, for 15 seconds, shaking it very gently (as to avoid a harsh line in the final image). (As a result, your foreground is going to be exposed for 25 seconds, but the sky only for 10. This technique takes some practice but can save you big $$$.

      I use this technique quite regularly on my long exposures, sometimes blocking out the sky in intervals during the exposure to record maximum cloud movement. I’ll try and put a video together, maybe SLRLounge would be interested in a separate feature!?

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    • Hannes Nitzsche

      As examples, all the long exposures in this article (http://random-lights.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/quindalup-13-06-2015.html) were shot with the black card technique. The card doesn’t weigh anything in your gear-bag but it’s so handy to have with you at all times :)

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    • Gabriel Rodriguez

      Hannes, your work is awesome man!! Post a vid on how you do that black card trick, please.

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    • Hannes Nitzsche

      @Garbiel, thanks brother! I’ll see if I can make a little video on the weekend! :)

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    • Hannes Nitzsche

      Hey guys, so I managed to put a little video together over the weekend. It’s my first ever video so please excuse the crappy audio :) I tried to explain it thoroughly but if anything is still unclear, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below the video and I’ll try my best to answer your questions :)
      Cheers :)

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    • Gabriel Rodriguez

      Thanks for sharing your video Hannes! Simple and easy to follow, thumbs up for that bro!

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  7. Peter Nord

    If your camera won’t do it, you can use stack mode in Photoshop for a similar effect.

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  8. Paddy McDougall

    You can get a screw in 10 stop Haida filter for £50, highly reccommended to start you off in long exposures

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  9. jonathan romain

    Wow, I didn’t even know that my 6D could do multiple exposures…

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    • Dave Haynie

      It can average OR add them together. Averaging is of course what you want here. Additive mode is basically the same as multiple-exposure on film. Of course, when you shoot using one of these modes, there’s only the composite image saved, not the individual photo, and the compositing is of course done in-camera. If you shoot in “Live View” mode, you can press the info button after any exposure to see the composite so far, and there’s a way to cancel any additional photos if you’re done.

      There’s a tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IatszFEHFcM

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  10. Jesper Ek

    Nice, but a filter would cut down both shooting and editing to 10 filters for the cost.

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  11. Barry Chapman

    “Though I’m not certain that 10-tuple is an actual word recognized by Websters”
    It’s not, but decuple is.

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