Long Exposures: Why I don’t bother…

Long Exposures: Why I don’t bother…

Are long exposure photographs really worth all the effort? For a while now, long exposures have been all the rage among photography enthusiasts. From capturing silky smooth waterfalls to mesmerizing light trails, these images have an ethereal quality that can be truly captivating. Yet, after numerous attempts and countless hours spent in the field, I find myself questioning whether the results justify the painstaking process. In this blog, I will delve into the reasons why I no longer bother with long exposures and explore alternative techniques that have reinvigorated my passion for photography. So, if you’re curious about the world beyond long exposures, then read on and discover a new perspective.

Long Exposures: Why I Don’t Bother


Welcome to Iceland! Although this car isn’t the most interesting place to start this video, it’s not windy and I wanted to make sure you can hear me. In this vlog, I will be discussing long exposures and why I personally don’t bother with them. But before we dive into that, I have some exciting news to share. I have a new sponsor – Lumix! I have been using their products for years and I’m thrilled to have a formal partnership with them. Now, let’s move on to the topic at hand.

Iceland Impressions

First impressions of Iceland are that it’s similar to New Zealand – lots of Japanese tourists and a strong scent of sulfur due to volcanic activity. But overall, I’m enjoying it despite the windy weather. As I explore this beautiful country, I’ll share more about why I don’t typically use long exposures in my photography.

Waterfall Photography

When it comes to photographing waterfalls, many photographers immediately reach for a 10-stop ND filter to achieve that popular blurred water effect. However, I personally don’t like this approach. I believe that capturing the action of the water is more important, and blurring it with a long exposure takes away from that. Here are two photos I took at a massive waterfall – one with an ND filter and one without. I prefer the one without the filter because it tells a better story with the movement of the water.

A Distancing Effect

Another reason why I don’t bother with long exposures is that they create a sense of distance between the viewer and the photograph. When someone looks at a long exposure photo, they immediately know that a specific photography technique has been applied, which takes away from the immersive experience. I prefer my photos to make viewers feel like they are in the scene rather than simply looking at a photograph.

Back to the Hotel

As the harsh sunlight lingers, I’ve decided to head back to the hotel to edit some photos and wait for better lighting conditions. Hopefully, there will be a golden hour or even some Northern Lights later in the evening. Making videos this week might be challenging due to the strong winds, but I’ll make do and provide subtitles if necessary.

The Golden Hour

We’re now at the start of golden hour, about an hour away from sunset. I’ve been walking around, capturing snapshots of the beautiful landscape. I’ve stopped at a spot where there is a waterfall accompanied by high, snow-capped mountains in the background – a perfect scene for when the clouds create a stunning backdrop. Now, let’s see what nature has in store for us during this golden hour.

And that’s it for today’s discussion about long exposures and why I don’t typically use them in my photography. Stay tuned for more videos from my time in Iceland, and thank you for joining me on this journey!

Frequently Asked Questions about Long Exposures: Why I don’t bother…

1. What are long exposures in photography?

Long exposures refer to a technique where the camera shutter is left open for an extended period, typically a few seconds or more. This allows more light to reach the camera sensor, resulting in unique and often dramatic images.

2. Why don’t you bother with long exposures?

While long exposures can produce stunning effects, I personally choose not to focus on this technique for a variety of reasons.

3. What are some drawbacks of long exposures?

There are several drawbacks to consider when using long exposures. Firstly, it requires a stable tripod to keep the camera perfectly still during the exposure, limiting flexibility and mobility. Additionally, it requires subjects to remain completely still, making it challenging for photographing moving objects or people. Furthermore, long exposures can result in blurred details if there is any camera or subject movement.

4. Are there any technical challenges with long exposures?

Yes, working with long exposures can present technical challenges. The longer the exposure, the more sensitive the camera becomes to small movements, including the vibrations caused by the mirror, wind, or even the photographer’s touch. These vibrations can introduce unwanted blur or artifacts into the image, requiring careful handling or additional equipment like a remote shutter release.

5. What alternatives do you prefer over long exposures?

Instead of relying solely on long exposures, I prefer exploring other techniques such as high-speed photography, freezing motion with quick shutter speeds, or utilizing natural light creatively. These alternatives offer more versatility and allow me to capture a wider range of subjects and situations.

6. Are there any benefits to long exposures?

Absolutely! Long exposures can create visually stunning effects like smooth waterfalls, light trails, or starry skies. They can convey a sense of motion or tranquility, and allow for creative expression. It’s a matter of personal preference and artistic vision.

7. Where can I learn more about long exposures?

If you’re interested in diving deeper into long exposures, there are numerous online tutorials, photography forums, and workshops available where you can learn from experienced photographers who specialize in this technique.

I hope you find useful my article Long Exposures: Why I don’t bother…, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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