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By dusfim
Hi all

This is one of my first tries for long exposure. Photographed with Haida 10 stop filter. Penbroke is the place where I took the photo.
It was submitted in a competition for beginners in Long exposure organized by Haida agents in Malta. Unfortunately it won nothing.

Tags: General Long exposure

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dark_lord Plus
18 3.0k 836 England
1 Dec 2022 11:56AM
It's good to see you trying a new technique Mario, something we should all do now and again.

Looking at the exif data, using Manual exposure is ine ut the exposure compensation setting will have no effect, though +7/3 is n extreme correction and is it left over from a previous shot or set by accident?
Spot metering is also a specialist setting and I wonder why you used it here. A scene like this with a broad range of tones and even kighting is best left to Matrix metering.
Those are technical concerns.

The long exposure has smoothed the water well so a 30 second exposure is fine. But it doesn't have the look that such long exposures are renowned for and for a company selling 10 stop filters having such a strong classic look is what they want. In short it oesn't grab the attention of the viewer. A lot also depends on the movement of the water at the time, as more rapid movemen will more easily give that ethereal appearance. Different conditions would be worth a try. I see you were at a low ISO and well stopped down too, so trying in darker conditions with a corresponding increase in shutter speed to for example 4 minutes would be good to go for.

The two rocks at either side of he image hold the viewer in the frame but thee's little interst there to keep the viewer exploring. Having just one rock as the focal point would give the viewer something to hone in on.
The sky is blank, and if there were some clouds that show movement that would sjow off the long exposure.

So to summup, this doesn't say 'really long exposure' and there's little to keep my attention. Sorry.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1974 England
1 Dec 2022 5:24PM
It's a subtle image - I had to look twice to be sure that it is a long exposure, and - as Keith says - that may be the problem. Most people like special techniques to be obvious!

The composition is also subtle, and that may be a disadvantage, too: an image with a simpler composition might prove more eye-catching.

And, as Keith says, it's good to try different things. (And you've reminded me that I carry a 10x ND filter, which I don't use very often...
banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4336 Canada
1 Dec 2022 6:11PM
Hi Mario, good too try something new, and this type of shot requires practice.

I think it didnt do well in the competition mainly due to processing errors, especially on the horizon, where you chopped of some rocks on the right perfectly square, and blended the water into another, and its very obvious. The horizon appears to me to be too sharp, as if due to processing.

Technically, I think f/16 is a challenge for the zoom lens, and that 30 seconds resulted on an image that so smooth it has no detail; I would try a shorter exposure, perhaps 15 seconds using say f/11, - do lots of exposures and experiment.

The overall tone looks much too cyan and blue for me, and that may well be something introduced by the filter, though Im not sure; looking at the empty sky, f/16 has revealed some dust spots also.

Ive added two mods; first is with the rocks repaired, way less cyan/blue, and shadow detail in the foreground lifter quite a lot. Mod 2 is the same with a sky added.

Hope this is helpful,


chase Plus
17 2.5k 669 England
2 Dec 2022 10:24AM
Hi Mario, well done for having a go at something very different for you.
The long exposure is ok but I think you would have demonstrated it better with much more movement in the water to begin with, a rushing stream or waves battering the rocks may have worked much better.
The sky is unremarkable, Willies mod with the replacement sky has demonstrated that well.
The colours seem a little saturated for me and the horizon looks very odd, maybe even a passing vessel right on the horizon would have helped.
There doesn't seem to be anything to lead me into the image or to hold my attention.
Yes, just watch your processing on those rocks to the right, probably a mistake when sorting out the horizon.

Sorry Mario it's just not doing it for me, for a long exposure the frame is very static.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.6k 2575 United Kingdom
2 Dec 2022 11:47AM
I'm playing catch-up...

Well done for trying something new. I like the combination of haze with subtle, smooth movement in the water. But as Janet says, the problem is that I don't know where my eye is supposed to settle.

The horizon I find really distracting, it's so hard and crisp - and the human eye doesn't see like that. Focusing on the foreground detail, the horizon will be soft, hazy. So seeing it like this seems unnatural. I'm curious as to what processing you have applied there.
dusfim 12 Malta
2 Dec 2022 12:41PM
Hi all,

Thanks for your full detailed explanation on this subject. As I said it was my first attempt on long exposure.

Regarding the sky on that day it was without clouds and for the competition was not allowed to do any changes.

I cannot see what is wrong just watch your processing on those rocks to the right, probably a mistake when sorting out the horizon. ..Even about the saturation I agree. Even the horizon looks sharp and I agree, what i just did was cleaning the Sky from the the rush of the sea on the filter.

Thanks to Benehawi for his Mods which are better, and the others for always sharing your knowledge to improve.

dusfim 12 Malta
2 Dec 2022 1:44PM
Hi all,

I just loaded the original photo where you upload the mods.

chase Plus
17 2.5k 669 England
2 Dec 2022 9:13PM
Looking at your original Mario, you seem to have over processed this generally tbh.
The bit mentioned on the rocks is to the right where they cut the horizon.
dusfim 12 Malta
3 Dec 2022 9:11AM

tbh ??? please explain. Yes I did processed but as I said regarding the sky to add clouds. Yes now i can see
and understand about the rocks on the right.
ZenTony Plus
7 17 6 United Kingdom
3 Dec 2022 4:43PM
Hi Mario
Just to add something rather late. As others say it's good try try new things and I have never ventured into long exposure.
However what disturbs me mostly about this image is the water behind the rocks, the horizon and the sky. I just feel that is has been over saturated with colour and so becomes completely unnatural. The horizon again is unnaturally sharp and just seems rather odd. But, great to try new stuff and processing is a bit like art; never knowing when to stop. Less can be they say.

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