Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesVisual ArtsPhotography · 8 years ago

When I tried to do a time exposure for running water it turned out totally white! What did I do wrong?

I was trying to capture a stream with a longer exposure but the image was blown out with light. How do I compensate. I have a Nikon d3000.

8 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Any long exposure in daylight will be overexposed (ie blown out). If you think about it, the sunny 16 rule says that at ISO 100 and at f16, then the correct exposure will be 1/100 sec. Anything slower than this will be overexposed!

    You can stop the aperture down a bit more, but this will degrade image quality.

    The way to take long exposures in daylight is to use neutral density filters - either screw-in types that fit your lens, or the Cokin square filter system. They come in different strengths (darknesses) and basically reduce the light reaching the sensor, thus allowing longer exposures than without them.

    If you are shooting at ISO 100, f16 and the exposure is around 1/125 sec, then if you want a 1 second exposure, then a quick look at the whole stops chart will tell you how many 'stops' of ND filter you need;

    1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1 sec - that's 7 stops difference in exposure!

    I'd recommend getting a couple of ND filters - a 4 stop & a 6 stop - gives you a couple of options and you can stack them to make a 10 stop filter (but don't stack more than two or you might get vignetting in the frame).

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  • 8 years ago

    Use the built in light meter in your camera.

    Set you ISO to the lowest your camera will do (probably 100, my 5DmkII goes down to 50), set your shutter speed for the lenght of time you want for the effect you are trying to achieve and then set your aperture so you get a proper exposure ... the bigger the number the smaller the openning, the less light is streaming in so the darker the image.

    If f16 (or whatever the max aperture is for your lens) is still too bright, then you'll need to add neutral density filters to help darken up the scene. ND filters are rated by how much light they rob for the shot.

    Before trying long exposure photography, you REALLY should learn the BASICS of exposure ... how aperture, shutter speed and ISO interact.

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    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Its time to learn about the Exposure Triangle - Aperture-ISO-Shutter Speed. Read this article:

    Another way of seeing the relationship between the three elements of the Exposure Triangle is to go back in time and look at the "Sunny 16 Rule". Developed in those long ago days when cameras didn't have built-in light meters, it states: "On a sunny day, set your aperture to f16 and your shutter speed to 1/ISO." So if we were out on a sunny day and using ISO 100 we'd use f16 and a 1/100 sec. shutter speed.

    f256 @ 4 sec. -8 stops

    f180 @ 2 sec. -7 stops

    f128 @ 1 sec. -6 stops

    f90 @ 1/3 sec. -5 stops

    f64 @ 1/6 sec. -4 stops

    f45 @ 1/12 sec. -3 stops

    f32 @ 1/25 sec. -2 stops

    f22 @ 1/50 sec. -1 stop

    f16 @ 1/100 sec. "Sunny 16"

    f11 @ 1/200 sec. +1 stop

    f8 @ 1/400 sec. +2 stops

    f5.6 @ 1/800 sec. +3 stops

    f4.0 @ 1/1600 sec. +4 stops

    f2.8 @ 1/3200 sec. +5 stops

    f2 @ 1/6400 sec. +6 stops

    f1.4 @ 1/12800 sec. +7 stops

    As you can easily see, simply setting a slow shutter speed without compensating for the amount of light by stopping down your lens will result in a very blown out image. Although using Neutral Density (ND) filters is certainly one way to decrease the amount of light entering the lens, its worth a try using a Circular Polarizer which decreases the amount of light by approximately 2 stops. With the 18mm end of your lens at f22 (its minimum aperture) a Circular Polarizer will give you an equivalent f45 which on our chart will allow a 1/12 sec. +/- shutter speed which might give you the results you want.

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  • mayedo
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    you're over exposing. In vivid easy, you ought to use a independent Density filter out to diminish down on the quantity of light. I extremely have taken a million 2nd or so exposures in daylight hours, the two in deep coloration or on overcast days by skill of employing a low ISO (one hundred or much less) and a small aperture (f/22 or smaller) Your ISO, shutter velocity and aperture artwork jointly to variety your exposure.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    You overexposed.

    Use a smaller aperture or lower ISO setting, or an ND (neutral density) filter if there's still too much light.


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  • 8 years ago

    Use smaller aperture, as small as your lens can go so for example f.22

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  • 8 years ago

    Gotta wait til its darker to shoot and/or get and ND filter to darken your lens. That will help you. You will have to experiment with different shutter speeds. Try different shutter speeds and go slower and slower. Start at around maybe 1/10.

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  • 8 years ago

    depends on the settings you are using...

    shutterspeed that is too long will let in too much light...

    what is your set up???

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