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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Slow Shutter Speed Photography in Day Light!!!
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04/27/2010 11:00:07 AM · #1
Hi,

I have been trying to take slow shutter speed photos in day light and no matter what I do I get an over exposed photo with only light nothing else.

Is it possible to take slow shutter speed photos in daylight ..I have seen so many photos at different websites (I am not sure of they look like and not actually day light photos).

Can you help me with this ?

Thanks,
Zee
04/27/2010 11:04:39 AM · #2
Turn the exposure down?
04/27/2010 11:05:25 AM · #3
Yep, go to the highest F stop you can. You can also try a neutral density filter. Keep your ISO as low as you can set it.
04/27/2010 11:10:08 AM · #4
I think the previously mentioned neutral density filter is the secret.
04/27/2010 11:11:07 AM · #5
minimize your aperture. put a dark lens filter on. cut a dime-sized hole out of black cardboard and tape or hold the cardboard over to your lens when you shoot. go indoors ;-)
04/27/2010 11:11:33 AM · #6
Ken/Hipy ,

I tried both but still I am getting same result. I went upto f32 and ISO 100 (min possible). I have never used neutral density filter though.

Thanks,
04/27/2010 11:35:37 AM · #7

Filters are the key. Depending on the strength of the filter you can really slow down a shot. It works great for waterfalls during the day or any other motion shots. Cokin makes good sets if you are interested.
04/27/2010 11:47:00 AM · #8
Let's do this by example, and I think you will see why you are getting the results you are... let's say you are shooting on a sunny day, and your camera's meter tells you you need 1/100s at f/16 at ISO 100. But we really want to have a shutter speed of 1 second or so. So at this point we should realize that our shutter speed is 100 times too fast, and that we can only stop down two stops in aperture (from f/16 to f/22, and then to f/32). So we stop down to f/32; we still get 1/25s (as we should). Way too fast yet. We will still need to cut down the light by about five stops to get to 1 second at f/32. We really would like to not be shooting at f/32, because of blurriness caused by diffraction. We'd also like some control over DoF. If we really want f/8 at 1 second in bright daylight, we'll need an additional four stops of light reduction. So in all, you need nine (yes, nine) stops of neutral density filters in order to achieve the desired result.
In fact, that is the exact reason that I keep a 10-stop ND filter in my bag.
04/27/2010 12:14:54 PM · #9
Originally posted by kirbic:

Let's do this by example, and I think you will see why you are getting the results you are... let's say you are shooting on a sunny day, and your camera's meter tells you you need 1/100s at f/16 at ISO 100. But we really want to have a shutter speed of 1 second or so. So at this point we should realize that our shutter speed is 100 times too fast, and that we can only stop down two stops in aperture (from f/16 to f/22, and then to f/32). So we stop down to f/32; we still get 1/25s (as we should). Way too fast yet. We will still need to cut down the light by about five stops to get to 1 second at f/32. We really would like to not be shooting at f/32, because of blurriness caused by diffraction. We'd also like some control over DoF. If we really want f/8 at 1 second in bright daylight, we'll need an additional four stops of light reduction. So in all, you need nine (yes, nine) stops of neutral density filters in order to achieve the desired result.
In fact, that is the exact reason that I keep a 10-stop ND filter in my bag.


You're such a numbers geek. :)

Excellent example.
04/27/2010 12:19:56 PM · #10
A couple of polarizer filters can do a lot to bring down shutter speed too. If you have one that fits the lens, and a larger one, you can use a step up ring to fit both on the lens. By turning one or the other, you can control the amount of light getting through them.
It's hard to see the image in the viewfinder when you are using filters to reduce light levels, so sometimes you may have to compose before adding the filter.
Cokin is a good system, and I sometimes use a Cokin gradient ND.
04/27/2010 01:07:55 PM · #11
Once you understand the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO and what the camera is telling you in regards to the exposure (the scale on the top LCD and in the viewfinder tells you whether the settings produce an under/over/balanced exposure) then you will begin to understand why your images come out as they do (too bright, too dark, just right etc). Understanding this is key.
04/27/2010 01:37:16 PM · #12
I guess what you guys are saying makes sense, but why can't I do stop action without a flash at night?
04/27/2010 01:48:29 PM · #13
Originally posted by bohemka:

I guess what you guys are saying makes sense, but why can't I do stop action without a flash at night?


I am getting confused now, I thought you wanted slow shutter speed for daylight but now you want fast at night?

It may help to if you could give us an idea of what you are tring to accomplish but anyway to answer your question it is just as 21_F.gif cpanaioti said. To properly expose something you have to adjust your speed, aperture and iso to compensate for the light. To stop action at night (depending on the action) you will need a higher shutter speed. To do that you will need to crank up your iso and have your aperture wide open. For certain situations you can use the ambient light but for others you are going to want to use a flash to stop the action. Again it would help if we knew what you want to do, an example of a type of shot you want to get would be nice. Hope this helps and if anyone of the more knowledgable photogs here notice if I said something wrong please correct me.
04/27/2010 01:51:58 PM · #14
Originally posted by jminso:

Originally posted by bohemka:

I guess what you guys are saying makes sense, but why can't I do stop action without a flash at night?


I am getting confused now, I thought you wanted slow shutter speed for daylight but now you want fast at night?


Bohemka's not the original poster. His is another question altogether.

R.
04/27/2010 01:55:21 PM · #15
Ahh, It would help if I paid more attention. Sorry. Hope my answer helps though.
04/27/2010 01:57:00 PM · #16
I recently bought a 10-stop ND filter exactly for this purpose but I am having hard time using it. My problem is that with this filter on, there is so little light coming through that neither camera nor me can focus, but if I focus first and then put the filter on, this almost always throws the focus off. So I just keep reshooting with minor tweaks to the focus, but it is slow and annoying. Any advice on how to do this properly?
04/27/2010 02:03:42 PM · #17
Originally posted by LevT:

I recently bought a 10-stop ND filter exactly for this purpose but I am having hard time using it. My problem is that with this filter on, there is so little light coming through that neither camera nor me can focus, but if I focus first and then put the filter on, this almost always throws the focus off. So I just keep reshooting with minor tweaks to the focus, but it is slow and annoying. Any advice on how to do this properly?


Hi Lev. I had the same problem. What lens are you using?
My kit lens had the front element that was the focus ring as well. That's tough to work with. Since like you say, you have to prefocus then put the filter on. Since I've gotten another lens which has a seperate focus ring. It's been a lot easier to work with.
04/27/2010 02:10:05 PM · #18
Originally posted by LevT:

I recently bought a 10-stop ND filter exactly for this purpose but I am having hard time using it. My problem is that with this filter on, there is so little light coming through that neither camera nor me can focus, but if I focus first and then put the filter on, this almost always throws the focus off. So I just keep reshooting with minor tweaks to the focus, but it is slow and annoying. Any advice on how to do this properly?


We probably have the identical filter... and yep, focusing can at times be a royal biatch. I have, however, found that my 5D will lock AF, even with a 400/5.6 lens mounted, if I give it a very high contrast edge. A branch against a bright sky works. I can also lock AF on the edge of the sun 8^o
In most situations where I am using this filter, I am shooting with a *much* shorter focal length lens, say a 24-70/2.8; in this case, I set aperture to f/8 or so, and set my distance on the scale. Shoot test shot, adjust slightly if needed (usually not) and git-r-done.
Now, if I were wanting to shoot with the 50/1.4 at f/1.4, that would be a horse of a different color...
04/27/2010 02:25:28 PM · #19
Thanks guys! yeah, I am thinking that it could be my (relatively) cheapo Tamron 28-300 and Tokina 12-24 lenses. while they do have separate focusing rings (or so I think anyway :)) their front elements are a bit shaky so any mechanical interaction with them seem to throw the focus. I have since bought a 70-200 Nikkor which is supposed to be rock solid, but i have yet to try my ND filter on it.

Focusing on the sun is a good idea but I do not always shoot in the sun :). I tried using small aperture and focusing by the scale kinda works but the results are still a bit soft
04/27/2010 02:40:24 PM · #20
I was going to suggest using the focusing scale on the focusing ring, but It looks like you already covered that. If you are shooting at f11 or so, and using the scale, it should put you right on target, provided you actually know how far it is to your chosen focus point. Another thing, most lenses are marked in ft and meters so that could cause errors if you use the wrong units. Normally, f8 or 11 should have plenty of leeway for normal scenes, unless you are using a long lens, or shooting with very near foreground objects that you want to have in focus.
Unless the air is very still, you will get motion in all the branches, leaves and anything else that moves while the shutter is open as well. On hot days, even thermal aberrations in the air affect sharpness, esp with long lenses.
ETA, Try focusing with the ND filter off, note the exact setting on the focus ring, then set it back to that spot after adding the filter?

Message edited by author 2010-04-27 14:41:33.
04/27/2010 02:45:34 PM · #21
Originally posted by LevT:

Focusing on the sun is a good idea but I do not always shoot in the sun :).


And not recommended with this filter and anything faster than an f/5.6 lens, and even then, be damn careful!

Originally posted by LevT:

I tried using small aperture and focusing by the scale kinda works but the results are still a bit soft


If you used anything smaller than f/16, your softness may be coming from diffraction. The effects of diffraction will be slightly noticeable at f/16 and easily seen at f/22. Try shooting at f/8 or f/11, and setting your distance scale at or just beyond the hyperfocal distance. You can calculate that here. Note that you should manually set the CoC for twice the pixel pitch of your sensor. The manual settings are at the bottom of the camera selection drop-down.
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