Discover the magic of long exposure photography

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long exposure of the Manhattan skyline

A long exposure of the Manhattan skyline. Tenenbaum shot this with a 16 stop neutral density filter, an aperture of f/24 and a six and a half minute exposure.

We spoke with Tenenbaum to learn more about the tips and tricks for getting started with this photographic form.

Choosing gear

Tenenbaum says that it’s smart to choose the gear that you are most comfortable with—and this applies to camera bodies, lenses, and tripods. “A lot of times people get heavy cameras and then they think twice if they should even take it out or not. They are thinking of lugging it around,” she says. “ Get gear that isn’t going to bog you down.”

Lighthouse Park in Vancouver

Lighthouse Park in Vancouver. This image was shot with a 13 stop neutral density filter, an f/11 aperture and a 10 minute long exposure.

Although a tripod is obviously important for long exposure shots, where the shutter is open for a long amount of time, getting the heaviest, largest one isn’t going to do you much good. She recommends a mid-level tripod for photographers just starting out. “There is no need for something that weighs as much as you do—if the conditions are that windy you aren’t going to want to be out shooting anyway” she says. “But a travel tripod can be a bit too flimsy.”

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