Long exposure Photography without an ND filter.

(Brian Innes) #1

Having stumbled upon @patdavid 's tutorial on Faking an ND Filter for Long Exposure Photography, https://patdavid.net/2013/09/faking-nd-filter-for-long-exposure.html, I thought I may as well give it a try!

Setting camera on tripod in front of a waterfall at a local park, the slowest shutter speed I could get was 1 second at f/8 @ ISO 100.

So I shot 15 images in quick succession, then “averaged” them together using imagemagick.

Here is one of the 15 frames:

And the result of averaging together the 15 frames using imagemagick as per @patdavid 's tutorial:

Now this isn’t the worlds most spectacular photograph, as I was just really shooting some photos to try this technique out. It was 15 .jpg files I blended together for this image. Thankfully my new Canon 750D, compared to my old Pentax K100D can certainly rattle off continuous shots without a hiccup!

While this method does require a bit more work to get a single “long exposure” it is certainly cheaper (apart from storage space) compared to a B&W 10 stop ND filter!

Certainly something I’m going to experiment with.

(Mica) #2

I think it came out very well! I’d expect results to improve as you blend a greater number of frames as well!

In keeping with this technique, a 3 or 6 stop ND filter isn’t too expensive and could add a few valuable seconds to your exposure.

(Brian Innes) #3

I’ve just tried processing another series of exposures. This time 30 raw files, each with 2 second shutter speed:

Certainly the technique works, just a bit heavy on storage space, 1Gb worth of raw images to get a single “long exposure” shot… I do however think I’ll start saving some money up for some ND filters as I do believe it’s easier to get it right in camera first time by using filters.

But certainly this is a good technique to add to the armoury. :slight_smile:


Nice photos. Did you find any fossils?

Magic Lantern is a boon to Canon users. There is a script or two that applies enfuse in camera. At the moment, I believe that support for 750D is being worked on. Check out their forums and maybe you could contribute to something.