Long Exposure Workshop Notes




Fully extended keep the front leg directly if line with the camera to avoid tipping forward. Shooting low down extend legs outward to keep stability. Always keep central column down, having it up will cause movement.

Remember if you change to shoot in portrait adjust the tripod accordingly to position the leg in line with the camera.


Camera settings


  1. Turn LE noise reduction OFF.                                                                                                                                           
    Any noise reduction can be done in post processing. In camera noise reduction involves the camera taking a blank frame for the same amount of time as the exposure, so if you’ve taken a 5 min exposure the camera will then taken the blank exposure for a further 5 mins, mean 10 mins overall. This will also drain the battery quicker.
  2. Turn lens Image Stabilisation OFF.                                                                                                                                                                 
    Lens image stabilisation will still try to stabilise even though the camera is on a tripod, while not much of a problem for short exposures on a long exposure this will reduce image sharpness.
  3. Set ISO to it’s lowest setting.                                                                                                                                                                        
    100/200 ISO depending on the camera. This will not only help to getting longer exposures but also reduce the amount of noise in the image.
  4. Shoot in RAW.                                                                                                                                                                                             
    Shooting in Raw will give the best option to post process in Lightroom/photoshop retaining all the information within the image. If you don’t currently have access to image editing software then use the setting ‘JPEG+RAW”, you’ll then have the RAW file to go back to and edit later on.
  5. Use a maximum aperture of f11-f16.                                                                                                                                                                      
    Pushing the aperture over f16 to increase exposure time can cause a loss of sharpness in the image and increase the chances of visible dust marks from the sensor or filter.
  6. Exposure setting ‘B’.                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Take an exposure reading, make note of it then switch the camera to the bulb(B), this will allow you you keep the shutter open for any length of time. If the exposure is 30 seconds or under you can use dial this into the camera.
  7. Set to Manual Focus.                                                                                                                                                                                      
    After composing your shot you can focus using autofocus before attaching the ND filter, then switch the manual focus. If the autofocus is left on when you use the shutter release cable it will try and refocus which the camera will struggle to do with the ND filter on causing an out of focus image.


Conversion times for 10-stop filter 


Exposure                 With Filter


1/1000s                   1 sec

1/800s                     1.3 sec

1/640s                     1.6 sec

1/500s                     2 sec

1/400s                     2.5 sec

1/320s                     3 sec

1/250s                     4 sec

1/200s                     5 sec

1/160s                     6 sec                 

1/125s                     8 sec

1/100s                     10 sec

1/80s                       12 sec

1/60s                       17 sec

1/50s                       20 sec

1/40s                       25 sec

1/30s                       34 sec

1/25s                       40 sec

1/20s                       51 sec

1/15s                       1.08 min

1/13s                       1.18 min

1/10s                       1.42 min

1/8s                         2.08 min

1/6s                         2.50 min

1/5s                         3.24 min

1/4s                         4.16 min

1/3s                         5.41 min

1/2.5s                    6.49 min

1/2s                         8.32 min

1/1.6s                    10.40 min

1/1.3s                    13.07 min

1s                          17.04 min



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