​Light needed for long exposure running water

​Light needed for long exposure running water

Long exposure running water is a method of capturing blurred and blurred water by reducing the shutter speed. The result of this method is usually the smooth and smooth water pattern like milk or the visible water movement. Due to the need for a slow shutter during shooting, canvas prints and the minimum aperture of most lenses is 22 and the minimum ISO of the camera body is 100 or 50, we often need a low-light shooting environment to achieve a slow shutter. So what are these low-light conditions and what are the differences? Let's analyze it.

In the shadow of sunrise or sunset

Sunrise or sunset shadow is low light shooting water long exposure to the ideal environment, because this time is in from night to day too, the height of the sun is very low, canvas australia so long as is not the light to the place, the exposure can drop down very much, especially for half an hour before sunrise, the sun is not above the horizon, so the shadow basically with the nature of the twilight, the overall tone blue, clouds and the sun warm color tone can be a good contrast. See figure 1 for an example. Here, the waterfall on the left falls in a shadow where the sun doesn't shine, so when the shutter slows down, it takes on a cool tone, contrasting with the overall warm tone.

Look at another example, figure 2, to experience this kind of long shadow exposure at sunrise and sunset. This work is shot against the light, floating frames australia so most areas fall into the shadow of the sunset, so the water in the foreground can easily slow down the shutter length exposure. Here, I tried several shutter combinations to achieve the effect of virtual but not completely virtual. The most significant blue tone is the finishing touch of the picture, which forms a strong contrast with the gorgeous warm color of the sky, giving the picture a visual anchor.

Sometimes this long exposure to the sunrise shadow is complicated by the rise of the sun, as shown in figure 3. Because the sun has already risen, so when I was in filming this work need to find a rock caused by the long shadow of flowing water, and dew outside the shadow water tone and form has changed, but because of the relative height of the sun is still very low, so we can get the effect of atomization, imagine if the sun rose after the shooting, because the light is enough, even if has a rock as a barrier, it is hard to reach such cold tone and blur effect. Half an hour after the sun rises is probably the last time that we have this long exposure of sunrise and sunset shadows.

The twilight environment

Twilight is a period of time when the sun's light below the horizon is reflected in the sky. During this period, the visibility of the object is low, but it is not completely dark, so it is very suitable for photographing the long exposure of water. However, at twilight, it is often impossible to see the wonderful sunrise or sunset red clouds, but at most some light pink tones, so the contrast in composition is not so strong, please see the long exposure work taken at twilight in figure 4. Here, because the subject is not falls so long exposure effect is not obvious, but the lake is in a state of ripple is very big, so I slowed down the shutter, the lake fuzzy to the feeling of oil moisten, at the same time as the twilight light pink and formation is not the strong contrast of changes in temperature, but no matter how to say this kind of quietly elegant tone also is to have artistic conception.

Let's take another example in figure 5. The long exposure of this piece of water was taken in the earlier twilight, when even pink did not appear, so I deliberately changed it into a monotone in the later stage to highlight the picture of this completely cool tone. In fact, if I did not make such a change, this piece of work would still be dominated by cool tone without any contrast. This kind of pure cold long exposure without contrast is characteristic of part of twilight.

Shooting environment at night

Night light is dark enough, especially the night of the new moon, hand see five fingers, low light environment is sure to have. But the problem is that such low light is too low for normal long exposure of water, especially for an exposure of 30 seconds or so. The slow door for such a long time will make any water atomize to the point that you can't see the shape, but only blur. See figure 6. In such a dark environment, the water itself has been see not too clear, and others to a layer of fog, this will to a large extent affect the reflection of clarity, but making this film definition itself is not particularly important, so after dark water long exposure is probably the sky or auxiliary scenery around, specially make water at this time is not very ideal, especially water form basically look not to come out. Figure 7 has a similar effect. Therefore, in such a completely dark environment, it is ok to photograph the water or other water atomization effect, but it is no longer advisable to photograph the long exposure of water flow form.

Light needed for long exposure running water

Cloudy shooting environment

The other best time to shoot the long water exposure is cloudy day, but compared with the shadow environment at sunrise and sunset, it is still poor and warm color contrast, but if only from the perspective of light, cloudy day is enough to take a good long water exposure form. In addition, even if it is cloudy, the light in the morning is different from that in the noon, depending on the height of the sun. Generally speaking, the cloudy sky in the early morning is dim, which is the best time to shoot long water exposure, while the noon is still too bright, even with the minimum aperture and ISO is difficult to get the shutter down. Please see the long exposure of the seaside in the morning in figure 8. If the same scene is shot in the middle of the day, it will be difficult to capture the soft water, even if clouds block the sun.

Light needed for long exposure of running water

However, if the water flow is very fast, you can also try shooting, as shown in figure 9. From the reflection of the stone can be seen that the light was very bright, but because the speed of the water itself is also very fast, so you can do long exposure, but the effect is not as slow water in a darker environment long exposure effect is good.

Due to the thickness of the clouds, different weather conditions under the cloudy day light is also strong and weak, if it is rain and snow weather that cannot see the sky light conditions, the difference between early morning and noon is not particularly big, can try water long exposure.

Long exposure at other times

For sunny or cloudy sunny environment, generally speaking, is not suitable for long exposure water creation. But most of the times we are limited by travel, large canvas photo prints and we have to shoot the long exposure of water in a well-lit period of time, at which time we need the assistance of ND filter. As for the characteristics and use of ND filter, I will explain in a future article. Here you only need to know that in the environment with very high brightness, we can also complete the long water exposure with special equipment.

9th Nov 2019

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