do you have to use a filter for long exposure photography in the day?

Do you have to use a filter for long exposure photography in the day. Can you just change the other settings.( 2-8 sec). I have a bridge camera that can not take filters

6 Answers

    Lv 7
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Its time you learned about the Exposure Triangle. It consists of Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed.

    You should now understand that the 3 legs of the Exposure Triangle must be in balance to produce a correct exposure. The only way to get a 2 second exposure during the day is to use the lowest possible ISO and the smallest possible Aperture. Most digital cameras only allow a minimum ISO of 100 and few (if any) lenses stop down smaller than f32. This will NOT allow a 2 second exposure.

    Another way to understand the Exposure Triangle is the "Sunny 16 Rule" which states: "On a sunny day set your Aperture to f16 and your Shutter Speed to 1/ISO." So if its sunny out and you're using ISO 100 you'd get acceptable exposures at f16 and a 1/100 sec. Shutter Speed.

    The only way to get a longer shutter speed is by using a Neutral Density (ND) filter. If, as you claim, your camera doesn't allow you to use filters then you'll have to hold the filter in front of the lens during the exposure.

    On a sunny day to achieve a 2 second shutter speed you'll need a -7 stop ND filter IF your lens only stops down to f16. If your lens stops down to f32 you'll only need a -5 stop ND filter. For an 8 second exposure with a lens that only stops down to f16 you'll need a -9 stop ND filter. With a lens that stops down to f32 you'll only need a -7 stop ND filter.

    If you don't use an ND filter and try to take a 2 second exposure in daylight all you'll accomplish is very overexposed images that will be useless.

    Source(s): 41 years of learning about and enjoying photography.
  • 7 years ago

    You'll probably need at least an ND4

    Set your camera to it's least sensitive ISO e.g. ISO 100). In aperture priority set your smallest aperture (highest number) e.g. f32. That will take the longest esposure you can take and not be over exposed. if the sun is out it won't be a very long exposure!

    You might at a pinch get 2 seconds if you zoom (longer lenses are slower) and you are shooting in the woods on a overcast day etc.

    Even if your camera can't take filters it's possible to hold a filter over the front of the lens or even tape one on - not ideal, you'll likely end up scratching the filter - but I think its a perfectly good way to experiement with what you have if you can find a cheap quality filter, improvisation is a great skill to learn!

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    You just can't set shutter to long and expect to get what you want. Your picture will be overexposed if aperture does not match up. It depends on how dark that day is. Most of the time, even with ISO at minimum, you can't get a small enough aperture size for a long take. That's where ND filters come in. They come in various intensities but their main job is to cut light entering the camera which has more or less the same effect as making the aperture size smaller.

    Oh, you have a bridge camera. Sorry for that. You now realize you should have bought a dSLR instead.

  • Al
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    they do make attachments for lenses that will allow you to slide flat filters into . i believe the filter you are looking for is a nuetral density filter . they are of different values . a darker filter allowes you to extend your exposure time during bright sunny days so you can photograph water falls etc and have the motion of the water captured in your photos . you will need to use a tripod for such exposures . i also suggest using a red enhancing filter to bring out the colors . lastly , i would'nt use a nuetral density filter that is too dark as you lose much of the color in the photos if you enlarge them . it is a experimental thing and fun to do .

    Source(s): wedding and portrait photographer
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  • 7 years ago

    who said you can't take filters?

    you can tate them and hold them in front of your lens! or tape them on your lens. or whatever. you need a filter, use a filter!

    what you need is a neutral density filter.

  • 3 years ago


    Source(s): Digital Photography Tutorials
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