Long exposure photography ensures that the passing of time in an unmoving photograph can be shown. It does this by sharpening all static parts while blurring any moving objects. The downside of the long exposure is that a slight movement of the camera can blur the static elements. Below are some of the best ways to prevent unwanted blurring.
For extremely short exposures, there are certain methods that you can use for you and your camera to remain steady. However, when the exposure takes more than a second or two, you have to look for something that is steadier than your hands to hold the camera. You could set your camera on a table, but this risks the falling of the camera and also the fact that any accidental movement ruins the shot.
The best answer to this problem is to mount it on a sturdy tripod. Just ensure that the tripod is steady enough and doesn’t shake.
Even when using a very steady tripod, the act of pressing the shutter shakes the camera. However, there are some effective ways to handle this problem.
The first one is to set a delay timer (2-sec-timer) so the only movement will be the shuttering of the snap. The other way is to use a remote shutter release. Remotes are connected to the camera by cables or wireless. They are also known as remote cable releases and they ensure that there is no movement of the camera.
Autofocus is a tool that makes things easier and ensures that you take the best photos. However, when you are photographing long exposure, Auto focus may just do the opposite and lead you to taking low-quality photographs. In situations with low light, autofocus has difficulties detecting a subject to focus on. Even when it appears focused, it could auto readjust when the shutter snaps. The using of ND filters can also bring about the same problem.
The solution to this is to use manual focus or use a flashlight for focusing the when the focus is set; turn autofocus off so it will not readjust after the light is off.
When using a DSLR camera, it comes fitted a mirror that is used to reflect the image from the camera’s lens to the viewfinder. This mirror is between the camera sensor and the lens, so it always has to move before the snapping of the shutter.
This small movement may cause vibrations. When you activate the mirror’s lockup, it turns the shutter into a unique two-stage button; where the initial click lifts the mirror but the shutter never opens until the second click. This time lapse between these two clicks allows the vibrations to wear off.
Closing the aperture allows you to shoot longer. However, if the aperture is too small, it introduces a diffraction effect which in turn lowers the sharpness.
In almost all lenses, the sweet spot of the aperture is between the range f/5.6 to f8. In this range is where you will get the sharpest images.
When you drop down to f16 and below, you may get images that seem to be out of focus.