I like experimenting with new (or new to me) techniques. Here’s a twist on a self-portrait that is pretty easy to do indoors. I used a 30-second exposure with my Nikon D810, and I only stayed in the frame for about 20 of those seconds. The result is that I’ve become a ghost!
This type of photographic effect has been around for years, but with digital, it is so much easier to do because you can get the instant feedback on each capture. I did about five takes before I got one that I liked.
I processed the image in Lightroom and then used Macphun Software’s Tonality Pro to do the black and white conversion. I used a combination of layered effects (Tonality Pro offers layers) and color blending to retain just a hint of color in the final image.
Long exposures are a simple way to get creative with your photography. As I’ve discussed before, a good long exposure requires three elements:
Something moving in the frame (to be blurred)
Something stationary in the frame (to anchor the shot)
Slow shutter speeds
The traditional ways of slowing shutter speed are to (1) use a low ISO setting on your camera and (2) to stop down the lens aperture (f/16 or smaller). However, if you want to use a long exposure in daylight conditions, those two settings won’t help you much. Consider the standard “sunny 16” exposure: 1/100s @f/16 @ISO 100. Hmm. Stop down to f/22 and you get 1/50s. Not very slow. Maybe your camera can be set to a lower ISO, say ISO 50. That will get you to 1/25s. Again, that’s slow enough to blur cars or fast-moving water slightly, but it’s a big constraint. Moreover, some DSLRs have a base ISO of 200, meaning that you are even more limited in getting a slow shutter speed. Continue reading Choosing the Right Neutral Density Filter for Long Exposures→