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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> Long exposure ND filter help
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05/10/2019 11:10:48 PM · #1
I'm pleased that my Pirate's Tower managed to pull a top 10 in the freestudy, but I am trying to improve on my long exposures in daylight. The long exposure seems to be lacking some clarity that the normal shot at a high shutter speed has. I'm not sure if what I am seeing is from minor tripod movement ( I have a travel tripod that is fairly solid, but not like a full sized unit might be.) or from the ND filter.

Wondering if someone more experienced at these kind of shots might have some insight. Thanks.

Challenge entry:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1235752.jpg

Unedited conversion from RAW of challenge entry:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1236534.jpg

Similar image at 1/2500th:
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1236535.jpg

05/11/2019 11:33:28 AM · #2
Yeh, just from a quick look it sure seems like you have a bit of shake intruding. All the more surprising since you shot it at 14mm (28mm equivalent). I've had a *lot* of experience with controlling shake in long exposures, and we're talking exposures of up to 3 or 4 minutes. It can be quite the challenge. I think that the source of your troubles here was likely the wind. You had quite a stiff breeze coming in from front left. Shake aside, have you assessed what the impact of the filter is? The ND may be degrading image quality to some degree, though I'd be a bit surprised if it were the major source of your issues here.

ETA: I never knew about this structure! I've spent plenty of time in LA, in fact I've spent plenty of time in LA shooting with DPCers, LOL, yet I remained completely ignorant of this landmark.

Message edited by author 2019-05-11 11:36:24.
05/11/2019 02:26:43 PM · #3
Originally posted by kirbic:

ETA: I never knew about this structure! I've spent plenty of time in LA, in fact I've spent plenty of time in LA shooting with DPCers, LOL, yet I remained completely ignorant of this landmark.


Yes, I knew we had plenty of members in South CA, so I was quite surprised that this has never turned up in a challenge before. I expect to see more of it now. Interested to see what others can do with it.

Thanks for the input on the clarity. This is probably the sturdiest tripod I can find right now in that size range. Since I am traveling for work, packing photography gear is a secondary consideration. My switch from APS-C to Micro 4/3 has also been good for the traveling. I have a coworker who is into photography, but he has a full frame and rarely wants to drag his kit along on a work trip.

This is the the ND filter I am using. Not bargain basement, but not the best there is either.

Message edited by author 2019-05-11 14:29:56.
05/11/2019 02:35:36 PM · #4
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by kirbic:

ETA: I never knew about this structure! I've spent plenty of time in LA, in fact I've spent plenty of time in LA shooting with DPCers, LOL, yet I remained completely ignorant of this landmark.


Yes, I knew we had plenty of members in South CA, so I was quite surprised that this has never turned up in a challenge before. I expect to see more of it now. Interested to see what others can do with it.

Thanks for the input on the clarity. This is probably the sturdiest tripod I can find right now in that size range. Since I am traveling for work, packing photography gear is a secondary consideration. My switch from APS-C to Micro 4/3 has also been good for the traveling. I have a coworker who is into photography, but he has a full frame and rarely wants to drag his kit along on a work trip.


I don't drag my stuff along as much as I used to either :-P
If I'm doing long exposure stuff, and I'm on work travel with limited equipment, I'll normally use a Mefoto Roadtrip tripod, and try to keep things a little lower to the ground to stiffen the system. I use a remote trigger and mirror lock-up to minimize shutter and mirror vibration (of course not a concern with mirrorless)
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