A few weeks ago I recorded a Long Exposure photography class for KelbyTraining.com online. As the class gets closer to the release date, I wanted to write a quick list of my gear for long exposure photos.
Camera Body: Doesn’t matter. You don’t need high ISO. You don’t need high frames per second. Just a camera that let’s you control the shutter speed manually (which most DSLRs do).
Lens: Mostly wide angle (16-35, 18-35, 24-70)
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-33. You definitely want something sturdy. Your camera will pick up the slightest vibration during a longer exposure. Those small, skinny traveling tripods are awesome in many cases (I even have one, and use it a lot), but for long exposure stuff I make sure I use my most solid tripod whenever I can.
Some quick thoughts the Big Stopper: The Lee Big Stopper is hugely popular these days. It gives you really long shutter speeds even in the middle of the day. It’s square and slides in and out of the filter adapter (which you also have to buy) on your lens. That makes it really easy to take on and off when you’re focussing. That said, it’s on an eternal backorder :-/ It’s taking most people anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months to get. If you absolutely want one (and you should if you’re in to long exposure photography), consider buying yourself the screw on filters first while you wait for your Big Stopper. As long as you’re not shooting in the middle of the day, you’ll still get very long shutter speeds with them, and they can be a good entry point to hold you over until a Big Stopper comes in. Not to mention, you’ll still use them even if you have a Big Stopper since you’re not always going to want a 10 stop ND filter on.
Filter Pouch: Tamrac 3 or 5 filter holder pouch (don’t put it on your belt or you look like a dork)
Filter Wallet: Zeikos Filter Wallet
Cable Release: Vello Shutterboss