Still Photography: Daylight Long Exposures-Sky in motion

  • Thread starter Mike Hollingshead
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Mike Hollingshead

A few years ago now I saw someone on doing shots of sky scrapers but the sky was blurred(long exposures during the daylight). The images were rather impressive and I always wanted to do it but evidently am a super lazy person. So this week after seeing cirrus moving extremely fast one day I set out to be able to do this. I grabbed my camera, stopped it way down, and seen what the exposure was on a day with a mix of sky and clouds. I wanted to get to at least 20 seconds and figured it out that I'd need about 9 stops worth of neutral density filters. I already had the Cokin P filter holder(they don't cost anything) which will hold 3 filters. So I overnighted 3, 3 stop ND filters. It works!

With the sun showing I could do shots of 20 seconds at F20. I wish I would have gotten one or two of these filters as 4 stop reduction so I could stay away from those extreme Fstops. F18 should be safe enough I guess.

Anyway figured I'd post this as it might be fun for some of you photogs out there. The two days I've had these filters now the sky and weather have not been working out too well(slow slow clouds and zero surface flow). Part way through the first day the clouds got rather cool...without using the filter setup. I finally had to force myself to quit playing with the long exposure thing and take a few pics of these cool roll clouds. Funny how things work as I bought these and they are what got me out shooting only to see a damn cool sky that looked best with no motion blur.

Not a lot done yet and like I said, non-cooperating sky and weather, but here are some images.

Winter will certainly be long and I figure this could be something to do photographywise to pass the time. It doesn't cost much at all to be able to do it either.
Kewl stuff Mike. I like the "Ghostly" images. I've used slow shutter sppeds in daylight for Waterfalls. Gives that vapor quality to the water. I can't say I've done it quite as extreme as you did though.

Here's another idea with the long shutter times. I don't know if you've played with it or not. The better (aka "more expensive") flashes have an adjustable strobe built into the. You can set the strobe for x amount of flashes during the shutter open at x amount of strength. I played around with this and some Hummingbirds one time. I managed to get 5 images of a Hummingbird before he flew out of the frame. The strobe would stop the action in flight and the bird was moving fast enough it left no trails between flashes. Kind of neat.
Very cool pictures Mike!! Those are some cool things you are doing! I've got to get one of those fancy digitals :wink: I think a train going by on your notorious bridge by the river could look cool like that.