Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography is a popular technique used by photographers to create stunning images that capture the beauty and essence of natural and urban landscapes – I love revisiting old places I’ve shot many times before to capture it through a different technique.

The technique involves using strong neutral density (ND) filters to slow down the flow of light into the camera, which results in longer exposures that can range from a few seconds to several minutes.

The Benefits of Long-Exposure Photography

Long-exposure photography can create some truly unique and stunning images. 3 things I use it for are:-

  1. Capturing movement: One of the main benefits of long-exposure photography is the ability to capture movement in a still image. This is particularly effective when photographing waterfalls, sea and waves, and lakes. By using a long exposure, the water appears silky and smooth, creating a sense of movement and energy in the image.
  2. Creating dreamy skies: Long exposure photography is also great for capturing clouds in motion. When shooting with a long exposure, the clouds will appear to streak across the sky, creating a dreamy and ethereal effect.
  3. Making busy streets seem empty: Long exposure photography is also useful for capturing urban landscapes. By using a long exposure, you can create images that make busy streets seem empty, with the motion of people and cars blurred out of the frame. Unless someone stands perfectly still for the entire exposure, maybe 4 minutes, they won’t appear.

How to Calculate Exposure Time with a Phone App

Calculating exposure time for long-exposure photography can be tricky, as the amount of time needed will depend on the amount of light available and the strength of the ND filter being used. However, there are several phone apps that can help you determine the correct exposure time.

One of the most popular apps for calculating exposure time is called Long Exposure Calculator. This app allows you to input your camera settings, ND filter strength, and the amount of light available. Once you input this information, the app will calculate the appropriate exposure time for you.

Another popular app is ND Filter Calc. This app has a similar interface to Long Exposure Calculator, but it also includes a built-in timer that can be used to time your exposures.


By using strong ND filters and slowing down the flow of light into your camera, you can totally change how the world looks . With the help of a phone app, you can easily calculate the correct exposure time for your shots – this used to be a pain, but now it’s pretty simple.

So, grab your camera, and some ND filters (I use NISI, and many use LEE), and start experimenting with long-exposure photography today!

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