Effort Sweetens the Reward

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”–FDR

I’m not sure Franklin Roosevelt had long exposure photography in mind when he wrote those words but he could have!

Long exposure photography is not easy. Aside from the usual things we have to think about for any photograph such as composition, light quality and direction, and focus among others, we must also choose our “normal” exposure and convert that to the proper exposure for whatever neutral density filter we are using. That could mean increasing the base exposure by five, ten, or even fifteen stops! Fortunately there are smartphone apps for that in addition to printable charts. It also helps a great deal to have a thorough understanding of the exposure settings on your camera and how to manipulate those settings for the best effect.

The above image was captured on the “Edge of America,” Folly Beach, SC as the sun was setting behind me. It is a two minute exposure using a 10 stop ND converted from an exposure if 1/8 sec. @f18 (ISO 100) without the filter.

It has become one of my favorite images and brings a smile to my face every time I see it, a fact made all the sweeter because of the effort involved in capturing it.

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