Motion Blur or Long Exposure Photography | Kristi Linton | Skillshare

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Motion Blur or Long Exposure Photography

teacher avatar Kristi Linton

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Equipment 2


    • 3.

      Camera Settings


    • 4.

      Where to set up


    • 5.

      Take the photo


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About This Class

In this class I will teach you how to blur elements in your photos using a long exposure.  I will be using water as the moving element, but you can apply this skill to blur any moving element.  I will be using a DSLR camera in this class.

I will go over what equipment, camera settings, and some personal tips that I have learned over the years.

Below are links to the equipment I use in the video.  

ND Filter

Circular Polarizer

Adaptor Rings


Meet Your Teacher

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: Hi, everyone. My name's Kristi. I've been doing photography for about 12 years, and I love doing surreal and very dream like images. So today I want to teach you how to do a motion blur. Using water is your element. You can use this technique for almost anything. You can use it for care sells. Plants were blowing in the wind cars at night. Uh, light painting. I mean, if you can learn this technique, its possibilities are just endless. Let's get started. 2. Equipment 2: First of all, I want to go over some of the things you'll need. I'll put links to all of these in the product description. When I do a motion blur image, I like to shoot on a cloudy day or when it shaded so that the lights, the rights don't get overblown. It's just easier for your first time you can do it. It's sunset would like the son in the background. But I would really suggest for your first time just trying in the middle of the day in the shade you will need a digital SLR camera cause you have to have control over the aperture in the shutter speed and even the I s O is nice. You really need a tripod. I this is a must, um, you can try and put it like on a rock and something like that. But that might work, but Tripod gives you more freedom to take the photo where you want to. Okay, If you're gonna shoot in the day during the bright sun, you really need a neutral density filter. And all this is is it just cuts down the light, the answers, your camera, and this is my favorite one. It's a circular, neutral density filters. So all you do is turn it. As you can see, it gets lighter. Or doctor, that just makes you helps you to kind of find tune exactly how much late you want to cut. And I love this one because it has an adapter ring so I can put on any one of my lenses. So this adapter ring just goes on here. Maybe. And then this goes onto your cameras. Since I have a 43 millimeter, I've got the 43 at the bottom and that just screws on there. Also, if you're gonna be shooting water, I would suggest having a polarizer. And this just cuts down on reflections in the water so the rocks won't look quite as glossy and reflective. I'll show you an image of one with and one without, And this I just put on the bottom here and then the polarizer you just turn and tell the reflections on the rocks disappear and then all you so I'll turn this to my lightest, get the polarizer right, and then I'll turn the neutral density to where you need it. And those just going that and that is pretty much all you'll need. I hope I haven't overwhelmed you. 3. Camera Settings: okay. When I set up my camera, I always have it on manual tennis to the M. I don't know what camera you have, but mine's a Pentax. Most of more pretty similar. I like to set my, um cards to read A J peg and raw the raw just gives you a lot more wiggle room when you're trying to get the highlights down and all that. So I'll go here to image capture and large on the J peg DMG because I like to use him, do my photos and Photoshopped. So that's the raw format I use. And then when you set your aperture, you're gonna want a really small one. So I usually try and do about 11 16 22 even. Just so it really cuts down the light even more because you want a long A shutter as possible. So, shutters, it kind of depends, But I like to try and do, like at least 15 maybe 10 to 15 seconds. I mean, you just kind of look, I look at the photo and see how it looks, and then all either cut more light. If I need to add more light with the neutral density cut down the time and then I s o you need it as low as possible. So usually go with 100 and let's start shooting. Also, make sure this is very important. Make sure you have a full battery and extra batteries because they really eat up your battery power. 4. Where to set up: So the more the water's moving? Uh, the more misty and dramatic it would look, the less the water's moving. The lesson in effect you'll have. So I like to make sure it's a shooting areas that are very fast moving water or my favorite is on the sea shore with the waves coming in. It just looks beautiful. I do not like wasting time doing a long exposure at every possible spot and angles. What I do is I put my foot my camera on auto, and then I just walk around and I take photos everywhere and different angles and see which one I like. And then I bring the tripod out and go back to the the locations that I really liked and shoot there. So don't waste your time shooting at every spot. Also, while you're looking, make sure that there are enough still objects to make it your photo. Interesting. If all it is is moving water, it's just going to look like a big blurred photo. So make sure you've got some rocks in there appear or something that's gonna make your shot interesting and show that the water's flowing 5. Take the photo: Okay, so I found the spot I liked, and now I'm ready to take my photos. Um, like I said, I started I s 0 100 about aperture 22 the shutter speed. It's that 13 seconds. Right now, another important thing you need to do is to make sure that you turn your shudder to the shutter. Time to really shutter so that when you push the button, you don't, um, mets up the you don't shake the camera. So I'm gonna do the self timer for two seconds. So when I push the button, it'll wait two seconds before taking the photo. That way. I know my hands away, and there's not gonna be any kind of vibration for my hand. Make sure that your tripod is very sturdy. Sometimes you can actually hang something from the bottom of it to make sure that it's even weighed down a little bit more. If you're in a fast flowing river, make sure that you're the rivers not vibrating your camera. Even the smallest vibrations can ruin your photos. I'll even go as far as to secure the strap and make sure it's not like whipping around in the wind. That way, the vibration from the strap won't mess up your your photo. You'll want to do manual focus. It's the first thing you do is switch to manual. And I like to do live you so that you can actually see through the filters on the switch to manual. Make sure you are focused where you need to be, okay, and we're ready to take our first photo. Let's go ahead and push the button. Take your hand away, and this will take about 13 seconds. So what this is doing is it's opening the shutter for 13 seconds. So as the shutters open, that water is flowing on blurring. So that's what gives you that pretty misty look. That photo was obviously too dark, so I'm gonna add some time on since I like the more blurred water, the longer the time the shutters open, the more of a blurred look you'll have. So I'm gonna go from 13 seconds to 20 seconds and see how that looks. Okay, Let's see how that one turned out a little bit lighter. We need even more time. So this point, if you don't want to go higher than 20 seconds. You can twist the neutral density filter, Teoh, let more or less light in. So you would want to let more light into the camera. I am actually gonna try and do 25 seconds, so let's see how that works. So basically, if your photo is too bright, you have too much light entering your camera to need to either take the time down on the shutter being open. So go from 20 seconds to say 15 seconds. Or you can use the neutral density filter and at a dark in it, So cut the light. That way, if you're going Teoh, if the photo is too dark, you need to add more light. So you need a longer shutter speed. So I'd say, like 20 seconds to 30 seconds or 25. Um, or you could do it by turning the neutral density toe. Let more light in still really dark. I'm gonna go to 30 seconds. 30 is the max on my camera. So if 30 seconds doesn't work, then I'm gonna have to, um, open up my neutral DNC a little and let more light in that way so it looks like 30 seconds would probably work since I have in raw, so I could lighten it later. But I'm off. I'm actually going. Teoh, turn my neutral DNC back a bit. First of all, what you want to do is get your polarizer crypt. So just have the take off the neutral density and just get the polarizer. You just turn it and tell those reflections on the rocks are in the glare kind of disappears once you have that weird that you put the neutral density one on trying, not Teoh. Turn the other one. Will you do this? Turned it a bit, but what can fix that? Okay, what's that one's on now kind of. Hold on to your polarizer and turn the neutral density. Tell you have it where you want it. So that's more light into the camera and that's less light. I'm gonna have it right about in the middle. Oh, and that one is perfect. So now that I have the perfect image, make sure that the things that are supposed to be sharp are sharp. So I like to zoom into the rocks and make sure those look good. Those are nice and sharp and they look good to me. I also like to stitch my images to kind of give you more details. So I'm gonna do that right now, and I will do that. I will show you how to do that in another tutorial. But now that you have your focus, I just kind of move it up. Take another photo there, make sure you get all the surrounding area and this could take a while, especially when you're shutter speeds at 30 seconds. So prepare to get some weird looks. And there you have it. The final image. I hope you enjoy this tutorial and please let me see what you guys dio.