Long Exposure Photography Did you ever wonder how some photographs can render a waterfall to look like milk flowing out of a container, or clouds that appear to be moving across the sky. The technique used to create these effects is called Long Exposure Photography. This short tutorial is intended to give you some useful tips on how you can begin to take your photographic journey in a new direction. First and foremost there is essential equipment that is necessary to produce Long Exposure results. Starting at the top is a Neutral Density Filter. This type of filter will block out light without leaving a color cast on the resulting image. Each stop of an ND filter will reduce the amount of light entering the camera by a factor of 2. For example a 2-stop filter will diminish the light entering the sensor by a factor of 4, IE: 2-stops = 22 = 2x2= 4 =ND4 With the reduction in light you are able to keep the shutter open for an extended time, which is the reason you get silky smooth water or clouds rushing across the sky. However, there are steps you must take to overcome issues that result from the huge reduction in light. First a tripod is considered an essential requirement in landscape photography and becomes even more important when shooting with a 10-stop filter for example. With exposure at times extending for more than a couple of minutes it is paramount that a sturdy and well-planted tripod be used. Now lets consider the make up of the filter. For starters ND filters are incredibly dense and unless the conditions are really bright enough, there will not be sufficient light getting through to allow the autofocus to function. Accordingly, it is best to compose and focus your shot without the filter, switch to manual focus and then carefully attach the filter. This way the lens will not hunt for focus when you press the shutter. I would also suggest using a remote shutter release that will give you the option to lock the shutter open for a period of time. Do your research, as some brands of filters are known to leave more of a color cast on the final image. My strong suggestion is to shoot in the raw. This will give you the flexibility to make color cast adjustments during post processing. In some instances long exposures may just produce irreversibly compromises to the image, when this occurs, a black and white conversion should be considered as a way to overcome it. Choosing the right condition is essential to Long Exposure Photography. Ideal conditions present themselves when there are dappled clouds and strong wind. If there are no clouds, or the absence of wind, there will be nothing to add movement. Shooting around sunrise/sunset, when the sun is low in the sky will increase the contrast in the clouds, resulting in an exaggerated wispy effect in your final image So ultimately you need to consider what ND filter your going to use which will allow you to adopt them into your own work pattern. Practice, planning, patience and thought processing are the core tenets to successfully capturing breathtaking results. Believe me your efforts will be rewarded!