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Do you want to take better long exposure photos? Tired of your pictures coming out overexposed or out of focus? Well, The Nerdy Photographer has three quick tips for you that will clear up many of your long exposure photo problems.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article contains affiliate links!

You can watch the video or scroll down to read through the tips!

First, Get a Tripod

It may seem simple, but one of the biggest elements of getting great long exposure photos is keeping your camera still. Even the slightest movement means that your photos is going to be blurry.

black dslr camera mounted on black tripod
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

That means you need to stabilize your camera, and what’s the simplest way to do that? A tripod!

Whatever you’re photographing, whether it’s landscapes, urban settings, or starry skies, a quality tripod is literally the base on which your photos will be built.

Recommendations: You can get yourself a good tripod/monopod combo from Neewer for around $70 or you can go with a more heavy duty model from Manfrotto for $300.

Use a Trigger

Another part of keeping your camera steady is keeping your hands off!

By using a remote trigger (or even a cable release that connects to your camera), you keep your hands from disturbing your camera to press the shutter.

Even if your camera is on a tripod, your finger can apply enough pressure to disturb it. This is especially true for astro-photography.

long exposure night landscape sky photo
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Recommendations: I use CamRanger as my remote camera trigger, but you can get similar triggers from Case Air, Pluto, and Arsenal.

Use a Neutral Density Filter

Ever wonder how photographers get those creamy long exposure photos of waterfalls? Well, most likely, they’re using a Neutral Density Filter.

An ND filter is like sunglasses for your camera. It evenly darkens the entire image allowing you to use long exposures and open apertures in bright conditions without blowing out your highlights.

long exposure beach waves photo
Photo by Zukiman Mohamad on Pexels.com

Neutral Density filters are measured in degrees of darkness or stops of light that they block out.

I use filters with a specific number of stops when I’m photographing portraits (so I can use a low aperture under bright conditions), but when it comes to long exposures, I carry a variable ND filter that ranges from 1 to 22 stops of darkness. That way I don’t have to bring a bunch of different filters with me when I go out into the woods to take pictures.

What are your long exposure photo tips?

Do you have any tips you’d like to share on taking long exposure photos? We would love to hear your photo tricks! Leave a comment here or send them to us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

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