How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You

A while ago, I heard an interesting fact from the former managing editor of dPS. According to their reader survey, less than 18% of dPS readers own photography websites/blogs. So, I assume that the rest of them are posting photos on places like Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, etc.

Rented Land (Social Media) or Permanent Home (Your Website)

There’s nothing inherently wrong with social media, but it’s a little concerning not having a ‘permanent home’ for your photos. Instagram is probably the king of social media today (especially for us photographers), but we don’t know how long the popularity will last. The top places today may be deserted if a better platform comes along (do you remember MySpace!?). You’ll end up having to re-build your online presence all over again.

So, rather than having your photography home on ‘rented land,’ why not set up a website/blog as your ‘permanent home’ to stand the test of time? In this post, I’ll talk about three options to set up your own photography home.

How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You 1

My website is specifically for cityscape photography shot at blue hour. It’s a portfolio site with galleries, but I also share my experiences and tips using blog posts.

Free Blogging Platform

A free blogging platform is the easiest and cheapest (free) way. There are more than a handful of platforms, namely WordPress.com (free plan), Tumblr, Google Blogger, Weebly (free plan) to name but a few. If you’ve ever set up your social media account, you shouldn’t have any trouble starting with these platforms, either.

Unlike social media platforms (that give you no control over how your page looks), these platforms have quite a few themes (design templates) available. You should be able to find one that you like.

Wordpress dot com - How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You

WordPress.com is one of the most popular platforms today. It has one free and three paid plans.

Tumblr - How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You

Tumblr is entirely free and lets you fully edit HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Pros:

  1. Free of charge and easy to set up.
  2. Comes with social networking features (e.g., follow others on the same platform) that get you noticed faster.
  3. Possible to outlive you (As long as the service exists, even if you die, your free blog remains hosted).

Cons:

  1. Very little scalability (cannot do much besides blogging).
  2. Their insert their branded ads (e.g., Powered by Weebly). To remove these, you need to upgrade to a paid plan (where applicable).
  3. You have no control over the direction of the blogging platform (it may suddenly decide to compress uploaded photos, and you have no say in their decision).
  4. Themes are not always fully customizable (depending on platforms).
  5. Your default web address includes their brand name (e.g., your-chosen-name.wordpress.com). To remove their brand from the URL, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan (where applicable) or buy a custom domain that costs USD$10-15 a year.
    If your primary purpose is just photo blogging, these free blogging platforms should be sufficient. If you’re planning to scale up beyond photo blogging (e.g., selling photography prints on your website), I’d recommend one of the next two options.

Self-hosted Website

Self-hosting is how I host my photography website, and probably the case with many of fellow dPS contributors. If you’re aiming to scale up and do much more than photo blogging (e.g., selling eBooks, starting a tutorial site like dPS, running workshops and letting participants book and pay online), a self-hosted website is your go-to platform. I’m using WordPress (.org) which powers 31% of the web today.

Don’t get WordPress.org mixed up with the WordPress.com as mentioned above which is a free blogging platform (I know this always confuses people). Self-hosted WordPress is a content management system that you install on a web server by purchasing a web hosting plan (USD$100 or less a year including a domain name) with a hosting company like Bluehost. It’s a little more complicated to set it up, but you don’t have to be very techy to manage a self-hosted WordPress website. Many web hosting companies offer one-click installation with no coding skill required to run the site.

That said, being tech-savvy helps if you’re a control freak like me and you want to customize the look and function of your website down to the finest details by editing HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript. Self-hosted WordPress is the only platform mentioned in this post that allows you full control from beginning to end.

Wordpress dot org - How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You

WordPress powers 31% of the web today, and the number is growing every year.

Pros:

  1. You have the freedom to add any functionalities (gallery, contact form, sliders, forum, etc.) by installing plugins. The design is fully customizable by tweaking the code.
  2. As the website is ‘self-hosted,’ you don’t need to rely on anyone to run it, unlike free blogging platforms that may be discontinued anytime.
  3. Being such a popular platform, a ton of resources are available.

Cons:

  1. You’re responsible for your website’s security and maintenance. Although, you can utilize a few plugins and seek help from a hosting company’s support team.
  2. Compared to free blogging platforms with built-in social networking features, it typically takes longer to get noticed and build an audience.
  3. E-commerce doesn’t come equipped. There are very few options available if you want to sell prints directly on your website (try Fotomoto plugin if going this route).
How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You

A blog is a perfect place to talk about behind-the-scenes stories of your photos.

Made-For-Photographer Platforms

If selling photography prints on your website is the main criteria, or you’re doing client work (e.g., for event or wedding photography), services like SmugMug and Zenfolio are a good option. They are paid, but they let you host a website with a built-in print and digital download store. It also handles printing and shipping for you.

Their strength lies in the fact that the platform is made solely for photographers and understands their needs very well. Most importantly, it lets you focus on what matters most to photographers: taking photos. You can leave the rest for them to handle.

SmugMug - How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You

SmugMug is probably the most significant player among made-for-photographers platforms. It has recently acquired Flickr.

Zenfolio - How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You

Zenfolio is another big player that has a strong fan base.

Pros:

  1. Selling made easy with a built-in shopping cart plus payment processing. One of several professional labs automatically fulfills print orders.
  2. Equipped with robust tools like client proofing, boutique packaging, custom coupons for promotions, etc.
  3. Excellent customer support and a thriving community forum.

Cons:

  1. Running cost is higher than a self-hosted website.
  2. Themes are not fully customizable.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this post helps you set up ‘permanent home’ for your photos. What platform to go with is totally up to you and your needs, but I’m sure that your fun will be doubled (photography + your own website). Lastly, let me end this post with a quote by Derek Sivers —

“When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world”.

Replace ‘company’ with ‘website.’ That’s what you get when you have your own website!

If you have any questions or info to share, feel free to do so in the comments below.

The post How to Find the Right Website Platform that Works For You appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Tips for Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Neutral density filters (ND filters) are essential tools when it comes to shooting cityscapes at blue hour. Even without an ND filter, you could shoot for a few seconds of exposure (using a small aperture like f/13) when the light falls towards the end of dusk.

But those opaque filters let you take even longer exposure photos (minutes, not just seconds), and create beautiful effects such as light trails, silky smooth water, rushing clouds, etc., by slowing down the shutter speed by a certain number of f-stops.

Singapore - Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

This Marina Bay (Singapore) photo was shot with a 2-second exposure (at f/13) without using any ND filter. The sky looks good, but the water isn’t smoothed out at all, as that exposure is way too short to create silky smooth water effect that is seen in the photos to follow.

How ND Filters Make Your Exposure Longer

ND filters come in different strengths, some popular ones are 3-stop, 6-stop and 10-stop. The bigger the number, the darker the filter (i.e. the less light that is let through) and the longer the exposure will be.

For example, a base shutter speed of one second (i.e. when no filter is attached) can be extended to as long as 1024 seconds (over 17 minutes) with 10-stop ND filter attached, as each “stop” doubles the exposure time:

 

1 second > 2 seconds [1 stop] > 4 seconds [2 stops] > 8 seconds [3 stops] > 15 seconds [4 stops] > 30 seconds [5 stops] > 64 seconds [6 stops] > 128 seconds [7 stops] > 256 seconds [8 stops] > 512 seconds [9 stops] > 1024 seconds [10 stops]

 

It’s easy to calculate when a base shutter speed is a simple number like one second, but what about starting with, say, 1/15th of a second? This is where the Long Exposure Calculator app (for iOS) comes in handy and makes your life easier, as it automatically calculates a required shutter speed for you (look for an Android equivalent here).

ND filter and app - Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Neutral density (ND) filter (left) and Long Exposure Calculator app (right).

Using Different Strengths of ND Filters for Your Desired Effect

In this article, we’ll take a little deeper look at when to use which ND filter for your desired effect at blue hour.

3-Stop ND Filter

I don’t use 3-stop ND filter when taking cityscapes at a waterfront, as the strength is too mild to create a silky smooth water effect. Hence, my use of 3-stop ND filter is limited for scenes that have no water to be smoothed out, such as the photo below with light trails of moving cars, which doesn’t require a very long shutter speed.

Shanghai skyline - Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Shanghai skyline (China) shot with a 25-second exposure (f/8) using a B+W 3-Stop ND Filter (77mm). The base shutter speed was 3 seconds, ISO 100.

Singapore - Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Singapore skyline shot with a 10-second exposure (f/13) using the same 3 -stop ND filter. The base shutter speed was 1.3 seconds, ISO 100.

This mild strength 3-stop ND filter (i.e. not so long exposure) isn’t all bad, though. It allows you to take a number of photos during blue hour, unlike more dense filters like a 6-stop ND filter where you can take no more than a few photos due to a longer exposure time required per photo.

6-Stop ND Filter

I almost exclusively use a 6-stop ND filter when shooting cityscapes at a waterfront. To create silky smooth water effects, slowing down 3 stops isn’t quite enough, but a 10-stop one is way too strong. For example, a base shutter speed of 2 seconds (i.e. with no filter attached) gets extended to 15 seconds (with 3-stop ND filter), 128 seconds (with a 6-stop ND filter) and whopping 34 minutes and 8 seconds (with a 10-stop ND filter) respectively.

Shanghai - Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Shanghai skyline (China) shot with a 164-second exposure (f/11) using a B+W 6-Stop ND Filter (77mm) in order to achieve my desired effect of silky smooth water. Had I used a 3-stop ND filter, the water wouldn’t have been smoothed out this much (base shutter speed: 2.5 seconds, ISO 100).

Singapore - Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Marina Bay (Singapore) shot with a 163-second exposure (f/13) using the same 6-stop ND filter (base shutter speed: 2.5 seconds, ISO 100).

I typically aim to shoot with a base shutter speed of 2-3 seconds when using a 6-stop ND filter, which extends the exposure to 128 -192 seconds respectively. In order to create a silky smooth water effect, 2-3 minutes of exposure seems just right.

By the way, if you’re planning to buy only one filter for cityscape photography at blue hour, I’d recommend nothing but a 6-stop ND filter. I’ve probably photographed 90% of my cityscapes at blue hour using a 6-stop ND filter. It’s really a game changer if you are interested in doing this kind of photography.

10-Stop ND Filter

A 10-stop ND filter is a kind of special filter that lets you expose extremely long (longer than necessary in most cases!). Personally, I don’t really find 10-stop ND filter useful for shooting cityscapes at blue hour, as the exposure goes too long (even starting at a base shutter speed of 1/2 second gets extended to 8 and a half minutes), and digital noise caused by long exposure becomes too unbearable (even with in-camera long exposure noise reduction turned on).

So, this extreme filter’s use is rather limited to pre-dusk or even earlier in the day, not towards the end of dusk. In fact, one big advantage of a 10-stop ND filter is letting you take long exposure photos while the sky is still bright, which is something 3 and 6-stop ND filters aren’t up to the task of doing.

With a 10-stop ND filter, I usually aim to shoot with a base shutter speed of 1/4 or 1/3 second which is extended to 256 and 341 seconds respectively. I tend to avoid an exposure that exceeds 6-7 minutes, as long exposure noise starts to creep in.

Such a base shutter speed (1/4 or 1/3 second) can normally be achieved around sunset time or before, therefore you don’t really see deep bluish hue that’s typically seen at the prime time of the blue hour. Instead, your photo will have a surreal look that is very unique and distinctive to 10-stop ND filter.

Singapore - Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Singapore skyline shot with a 258-second exposure (f/8) using B+W 10 Stop ND Filter (77mm) with a base shutter speed of 1/4 second, ISO 100.

Singapore Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour

Singapore skyline shot with a 259-second exposure (f/7.1) using the same 10-stop ND filter (base shutter speed: 1/4 second, ISO 100).

Conclusion

I hope this post helps you get started with shooting cityscape photos at blue hour using neutral density filters. I’m sure that you’ll be hooked in no time and can no longer shoot cityscapes at blue hour without one!

If you have any questions or tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments below.

The post Tips for Using Neutral Density Filters for Cityscape Photography at Blue Hour appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Tips for Shooting Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

You have probably seen out of focus cityscape bokeh photos with pleasing lights, like the photo below. The term “bokeh” comes from the Japanese word “boke”, which can be translated as “blur”. You should be familiar with bokeh effect that is typically seen in portrait photography where a shallow depth of field is used to purposefully throw the background out of focus (i.e. bokeh) and draw attention solely to the subject.

Unlike portrait photography, everything is thrown out of focus for cityscape bokeh photos that we’re trying here. It makes colourful light orbs appear prominently in the image and creates a unique art style. If you haven’t tried these cityscapes with bokeh lights before, follow along with the simple four steps below. It’s super easy!

Singapore - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images

Singapore skyline with bokeh lights at blue hour (26mm, f/4.2, 15 seconds, ISO 100).

Step 1: Find a location with enough lights

Shooting at popular cityscape photography spots works great, but any place (such as a road in front of your house) might be suitable as long as there are sufficient lights. The choice of location isn’t very critical, as everything is blurred out, anyway.

My favourite spot to shoot from is an overhead bridge. It always gives pleasing results with many different colors of light sources available (buildings, cars headlights and tail lights, street lamps, traffic lights, etc.).

Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images

Shot from an overhead bridge in a suburb. You don’t necessarily have to go to the city center to shoot photos with bokeh lights (34mm, f/2.5, 1/2.5 second, ISO 100).

Step 2: Start shooting 10-20 minutes before the end of dusk

Cityscape bokeh images won’t work if the sky is still bright. It’s around this time (10-20 minutes before the end of dusk – check gaisma.com for your local dusk time) that city lights have been turned on, and the deep blue color of the dusk sky creates a beautiful backdrop for glittering bokeh lights.

Singapore - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

Singapore skyline with bokeh lights, shot exactly at the end of dusk (28mm, f/4.5, 6 seconds, ISO 100).

Shooting after dusk with the pitch black sky as a backdrop also works fine, but I personally prefer shooting during blue hour.

Singapore - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

The same view shot 20 minutes after the end of dusk (28mm, f/4.5, 13 seconds, ISO 100).

Step 3: Use Aperture Priority mode and a wide aperture

You may start with the smallest f-stop number and adjust to your liking. A wider aperture (smaller f-stop number) results in larger bokeh orbs, as seen in the photos below that were shot at the exact same location at different settings (top: shot with f/1.8, bottom: shot with f/4).

Singapore - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

Shot at f/1.8

Singapore - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

Shot at f/4

Step 4: Switch to manual focus

Use manual focus (as opposed to autofocus) and turn the focus ring until the lights are completely out of focus. This is easy as pie, but if the word “manual” turns you off, you can remain in autofocus and do the following, too.

  1. Set to single-point AF (autofocus).
  2. Hold up a lens cap (or a small item) towards the sky in front of you, as seen in the photo below.
  3. Focus on the lens cap and press the shutter button halfway down to lock the focus (which makes everything else out of focus).
  4. Move the camera to reframe the shot as you like and press the shutter down the rest of the way.

Singapore lens cap - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

No Fast Lens, No Tripod Needed

In order to capture these pleasing cityscape bokeh effects, you might be thinking that you need a so-called “fast lens” (i.e. a lens that is capable of opening up to f/1.4 or f/1.8, for example.) that portrait photographers typically use.

No, you do not! In fact, you can take these bokeh photos using f/3.5 on your kit lens. Some photos in this post were shot at f/4.5 on my trusty Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5, hardly a lens that is considered fast.

Furthermore, you can take these bokeh photos handheld (i.e. without using a tripod), as shooting with the aperture wide open (or close to it) helps keep the shutter speed high enough. Anyway, stability and sharpness aren’t very critical, as you are shooting photos that are completely out of focus!

The only occasion I use a tripod is when I want to create smooth water by using a neutral density (ND) filter. Then, a tripod is a must, as the exposure lasts at least for several seconds even if you’re shooting with the aperture wide open.

Singapore - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

Singapore CBD with bokeh lights at blue hour, shot with a 3-stop ND filter attached (20mm, f/3.5, 13 seconds, ISO 100).

One View, Two Images

What I particularly like about shooting cityscapes with bokeh lights is that a single view can produce two completely different images, one in focus and one out of focus, like the photos below shot at the same location.

At blue hour, I typically shoot an in-focus cityscape with a few minutes of long exposure first. Once finished, I switch to manual focus and shoot out of focus photos with the cityscape bokeh lights until the deep blue hue in the dusk sky is gone.

By the way, I like shooting with a little smaller aperture like f/3.5 to f/4.5 so that the shape of the skyline is still recognizable for those who are familiar with the place.

Singapore in focus - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

Singapore skyline in focus (18mm, f/11, 194 seconds, ISO 100).

Singapore out of focus - Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour

Singapore skyline with bokeh lights (18mm, f/3.5, 8 seconds, ISO 100).

Conclusion

I hope this article helps you get started with cityscape photos with pleasing bokeh lights if you haven’t tried previously.

As a cityscape photography enthusiast myself, I’ve found it quite fun to shoot something that looks completely different from otherwise ordinary cityscapes. If you have any questions or tips to share, feel free to do so in the comments below.

The post Tips for Shooting Out of Focus Cityscape Bokeh Images at Blue Hour appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

As an avid cityscape photography enthusiast (primarily shooting at the blue hour), I always spend quite a number of hours studying potential cityscape shooting spots before traveling to a new destination. Knowing everything from what to shoot, where to shoot from and how to get to those locations before departure will save you a ton of time and hassle, especially if your stay is rather short.

Hk 0106 - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

Thanks to my pre-departure study online, I was able to locate this vantage point along Lugard Road at Victoria Peak (Hong Kong) without any hassle.

Hk 0173 - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

Hong Kong skyline shot from Convention and Exhibition Centre. Another location that I successfully scouted online before traveling.

You can always start this location study with the obvious (Google!), but there are also other resources that help you find photography spots. Those are Flickr, 500px, stock photography websites, and photography forums to name but a few.

Personally, Flickr is my go-to resource, as there are more than 10 billion photos (according to their 2015 stats) and numerous groups dedicated to many big and small cities around the world. You can ask questions and possibly get answered by local photographers.

Finding what to shoot is a piece of cake. 10 minutes browsing Flickr gives you a number of potential locations. You may argue that those places are over-photographed or that you’re just copying what others have already photographed. But as a first-time visitor, I’m happy to start with the most popular locations because they are over-photographed for a reason.

Flickr - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

With more than 10 billion photos available, Flickr is my go-to resource when searching potential cityscape photography spots.

Finding Out Where a Photo Was Shot

The next up is finding where to shoot from (i.e. The exact spot where the photo was shot) but this can be much harder. Sometimes the photo has a clue in itself, such as a name of the building (e.g. hotel name). Then, just get onto Google Maps and do a virtual walk around the area using Street View.

Let’s use Hong Kong, the city that never stops fascinating me with its amazing cityscapes, as a case study for this article. For the photo below, I shot from a footbridge on Connaught Road Central, finding the name of the building on the left (International Finance Centre) eventually led me to locate the exact shooting spot (see on Google Maps) after virtual-walking around a lot on Google Street View.

Hk 0171 - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

Shot from a footbridge on Connaught Road Central (Hong Kong).

Try Your Luck Asking Photographers Directly

On other occasions, this crucial piece of info (the shooting location where the photo was taken) can be found in the title or description of the photo. If not, check through the comments to see whether anyone has already asked this particular question.

What I’ve found interesting is that there are photographers who normally reply to comments but somehow don’t respond to this type of question asking where it was shot. It might be because they are not really happy to share that information with a complete stranger trying to shortcut their way to an epic shooting spot they discovered by themselves (possibly by walking around for hours).

That said, there is no harm in asking. The worst thing that could happen is that you receive no response.

Author’s note: If you ask me about cityscape shooting spots in Singapore (where I live), I won’t hold anything back. I’m happy to provide all the info you need!

Asking in Flickr Groups

In case you’re hesitant about asking the photographer directly, you can also try asking in a Flickr group. Once I found a nice Hong Kong street photo with a street name included in the description. So I got onto Google Street View and moved up and down the street, but couldn’t locate exactly where the photo was shot.

As I saw this particular photographer not responding to any comments at all, I went into a Hong Kong group within Flickr and asked whether anyone knows the exact location by including the street photo in my question. Then, a fellow photographer kindly responded with the answer, which led me to shoot the photo below (shot from a footbridge over Paterson Street Tram Station, see on Google Maps).

Hk 0144 - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

Hong Kong street view from Yee Wo Street.

Use Google Maps to Find Directions from Your Hotel

Lastly, let’s talk about how to get to those newly found amazing locations. Accessing directions have never been easier these days, thanks to Google Maps.

Prior to the trip, get onto Google Maps and find the directions starting from your hotel. To record the route, take a screenshot or copy the link from your browser’s address bar so that you will be able to revisit the page using hotel’s WiFi later.

This may not be commonly known, but Google Maps also lets you save a short URL of the directional map. Just go to “Menu”, then click “Share or embed map” and check “Short URL”. You can also save maps for offline use as well if you don’t want to incur roaming charges and can’t access any WiFi.

Google map - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

Saving a directional map using “Short URL” feature on Google Maps.

List Photography Spots in Order of Priority

Let’s say I’m traveling for a 5-day, 4-night stay. Then, I’ll make a list of four cityscape photography spots to shoot at dusk. Plus I’ll add one or two backup spots just in case any of the original choices are unexpectedly unavailable due to a special event taking place or something. I select only one spot per day, as I’m only interested in shooting cityscapes during evening blue hour and try to gather as much information as possible before traveling.

It’s also important to list them in order of priority so that you know which place to drop if you can’t shoot on the first evening due to heavy rain, for example. In fact, such a situation often happens, so you should establish a clear order of priority for your shot list in advance.

Consider Revisiting: You Learn Something New Every Time You Go Back

Up until this point, I’ve talked about the importance of pre-departure preparations such as knowing where to shoot from. However, it’s also true that a single visit may not be enough to let you go home with best possible photos unless you’re staying for weeks. If you’re only staying for 4-5 days like I typically do, you may get unlucky with the weather and not be able to capture any photos that you’re happy with.

If that’s the case, consider revisiting the destination! The great thing about revisiting the same place is that you learn something new every time you go back, such as discovering lesser-known photography spots, finding a faster way to move around, etc. Besides, you can try new restaurants and coffee shops alike, and after a few visits, you’ll be able to walk around the city like a local!

Hk 0182 - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

On my second visit to Hong Kong, I found this lookout point on Stubbs Road through a bus window on the way to Victoria Peak. So the next day I dedicated one evening to shoot at this spot. This is a good example of learning something new every time you go back.

Hk 0029 - How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling

I planned to go back to Lugard Road lookout point at Victoria Peak to shoot Hong Kong skyline again, then accidentally diverted from the road to find this spot behind Peak Tower, so changed my plan to shoot here, instead.

Conclusion

I hope this helps you with your pre-departure search on what to shoot, where to shoot from, and how to get to those locations. These tips are quite basic, but it’s almost a prerequisite in order not to waste your precious (but limited) time at the destination, especially for those of us traveling only for a few days.

If you have any other cityscape photography tips to share, please do so in the comments below.

The post How to Search Potential Cityscape Photography Spots Online Before Traveling appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Avoid Blurry Long Exposure Images with Proper Tripod Setup

A tripod is an important piece of gear for all photographers, but even more so for those who are hooked on shooting long exposure photography at the blue hour like myself (I primarily shoot waterfront cityscapes). Those photos require exposures lasting for minutes with a use of neutral density (ND) filter. Therefore, a sturdy tripod is absolutely essential to keep photos sharp.

Avoid Long Exposure Photographers’ Worst Nightmare by Setting Your Tripod Low

A sturdy tripod is a must for long exposure photography, as there is no chance at all of shooting sharp photos by hand-holding a camera for minutes.

Get a Best Tripod Within Your Budget

This article is not your ultimate tripod buying guide (dPS already has an excellent article on that here), but let me mention a few brief pointers first.

First of all, unlike your camera body, a tripod isn’t something you will upgrade very often. In fact, a good one could last a lifetime, so it’s advisable to get the best possible tripod within your budget. Here are a few other things to look out for when choosing your tripod.

Load Capacity:

The maximum load capacity of your tripod should be at least twice or preferably three times the maximum weight of your camera body and biggest lens combined. For example, my trusty Manfrotto MT190CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod supports up to 7kg, which is more than sufficient for my Nikon D610 (850g) and Nikon 18-35mm (f/3.5-4.5) (385g) combined (1.25kg).

Tripod Head:

Your tripod head also has a maximum load capacity, and it should at least match that of your tripod. If your tripod supports up to 7kg, but the head only supports up to 5kg, then the load capacity of the entire tripod system is to be 5kg, as the maximum load comes from the weaker component. For your information, I own the SIRUI K-20X Ballhead, which supports a whopping 25kg.

Tripod Weight:

Decent tripods are commonly made of aluminum or carbon fiber. Both are equally good, but carbon fiber tripods are lighter yet more resistant to vibration (hence they are also pricier, too). My Manfrotto Carbon Fiber Tripod weighs 1.6kg (3.5 lbs.) while its aluminum counterpart the Manfrotto MT190XPRO3 weighs 2kg (4.5 lbs.), with all the other specs being pretty much identical).

Tripod Leg Sections:

While 3-section legs provide a more stable platform, tripods with 4-section legs have a shorter closed (folded up for transportation) length and make it easier to pack into a suitcase when traveling. For example, closed length for my 3-section leg Manfrotto MT190CXPRO3 Carbon Fiber Tripod is 61 cm (24 inches), but its 4-section counterpart the Manfrotto MT190CXPRO4 is only 52 cm (20.5 inches).

If you ask me, I recommend choosing nothing but 3-section tripod legs. I personally won’t compromise stability for convenience. That said, my tripod still fits into my check-in luggage (after taking out the center column). Before purchasing, I even tested it by bringing my luggage to the camera shop!

Tall Isn’t Always Cool

Having a good tripod is one thing, but using it correct way is another. I see way too many photographers fully extending tripod legs even when it’s not necessary. The rule of thumb is that the higher the tripod legs are extended, the less stable it gets, leaving more prone to high winds and undermining your chance of taking sharp photos. The photo below (at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, with an altitude of 552m) is a good example.

Victoria peak - Avoid Long Exposure Photographers’ Worst Nightmare by Setting Your Tripod Low

To take blur-free shots here, I kept the tripod low and put the lens through the bars, rather than fully extending the tripod legs and center column to shoot from above the railing.

Instead of fully extending the tripod legs (and even the center column, which is a big NO-NO) to position the camera above the railing, I put the lens through the bars and kept the tripod as low as needed to minimize the risk of vibration.

Actually, I learned this from a previous mistake. I shot at this exact location the previous year but screwed up the opportunity by setting up the tripod too tall (over the railing by extending the center column) in high winds, and none of the photos came out sharp.

Center column - Avoid Long Exposure Photographers’ Worst Nightmare by Setting Your Tripod Low

Extending the center column in high winds or when shooting long exposure photography is a recipe for a disaster. It’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to capture sharp photos this way.

Long Exposure Photographers’ Worst Nightmare

Let’s say you’re shooting waterfront cityscapes at blue hour with a few minutes of long exposure at a tourist-centric area (places like Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, The Bund in Shanghai, etc.) on your holiday. It may be your once-in-a-lifetime trip, and the weather is clear and perfect.

Such places are always crowded especially at sunset and dusk times with herds of tourists flocking to take snaps, selfies, and groupies. Extending all the tripod legs inevitably takes more space on the ground, which has a huge risk of someone accidentally kicking it during long exposure and ruining your potentially epic shot. This is long exposure photographers’ worst nightmare (and happened to me once).

Crowded spot - Avoid Long Exposure Photographers’ Worst Nightmare by Setting Your Tripod Low

At a crowded photography location like this (Merlion Park in Singapore), keep your tripod setup as low as possible so that it takes less space on the ground and reduces the risk of someone accidentally kicking your tripod legs.

Tripod Alternatives

To avoid such a nightmare, I’m also using a sort of a tripod alternative that helps stabilize my camera setup. A clamp tripod like the Manfrotto 035 Super Clamp without Stud comes in handy at places with high winds or at crowded city shooting locations where you feel worried about someone accidentally kicking your tripod legs.

It’s not that you can use a clamp tripod anywhere you want, as it needs a railing or something that it can be clamped onto. But where possible, this setup can be rock solid (with a load capacity of 15kg) and the resulting long exposure photos are appreciably sharper than those shot using a regular tripod.

Super clamp in use - Avoid Long Exposure Photographers’ Worst Nightmare by Setting Your Tripod Low

A Super Clamp is like a game changer, it’s small and strong.

Set up clamp - Avoid Long Exposure Photographers’ Worst Nightmare by Setting Your Tripod Low

To mount a DSLR on a Super Clamp, first, plug a separately-sold Manfrotto 208HEX 3/8-Inch Camera Mounting Platform Adapter (or a cheaper alternative Manfrotto 037 Reversible Short Stud) into a Super Clamp socket and secure it with the double lock system. Then mount a tripod head with DSLR on the mounting platform adapter, just like you do with your regular tripod.

Conclusion

I hope these tips help you avoid making the same mistakes I did. Don’t blindly follow the mantra that says, “Extend your tripod and place the viewfinder at your eye level” (you’ve probably heard about that before!).

There’s nothing wrong with setting up your tripod low and bending down. This increases your chance of capturing sharp long exposure photos in high winds and also prevents your tripod legs from getting accidentally kicked.

If you have any other tips or experiences to share, please do so in the comments below.

The post Avoid Blurry Long Exposure Images with Proper Tripod Setup appeared first on Digital Photography School.

How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

Blue hour, especially the one in the evening (yes it happens before sunrise too!), is probably the most popular time of day to take cityscape photography with dazzling city lights illuminated. But exactly when is the prime time of blue hour that could result in you getting the best possible shots?

Singapore - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

Singapore skyline at blue hour.

Hong Kong - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

Hong Kong skyline at blue hour.

Blue Hour Photography Requires a Tripod

One note before we get started. Although you could shoot handheld at blue hour by bumping the ISO up, it’s always advisable to use a tripod in order to shoot clean (noise-free) photos with low ISO (e.g. 100). It also comes with an added bonus of letting you do long exposure photography with smoothed-out water, etc.

For your information, sample photos shown in this post are all shot using my trusty Manfrotto MT190CXPRO3 carbon-fibre tripod.

Tripod - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

Setting a tripod up and getting ready for blue hour.

Finding out Your Local Sunset and Dusk Time

Let’s get down to business. In terms of timeline, SUNSET comes first, followed by DUSK 20+ minutes later. The time between sunset and dusk is called TWILIGHT, and NIGHT falls once dusk is over.

To find out your local sunset and dusk time, simply go to timeanddate.com and search for your city (e.g. sunset and dusk time in Singapore on January 26th, 2018 will be 19:18 and 19:40 respectively). Or alternatively, search Google using “dusk date city” format (e.g. dusk January 24th, 2018 Singapore). Then, Google returns a dusk time even before the first result. Checking a dusk time has become a second nature to me whenever I’m shooting at blue hour, locally as well as traveling abroad on holidays.

Note: Apps like PhotoPills are also really helpful for planning shooting times and figuring out the sunrise, sunset and dusk times daily in any location worldwide.

Timeline - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

Sunset to dusk in timeline. Towards the end of dusk is the best time to shoot blue hour photos with beautiful bluish hue in the sky.

Aim for Shooting the Last 10 Minutes of Dusk

In this 20 or so minutes between sunset and dusk, the first 10 minutes are still not quite “ripe”, as city buildings are not yet fully lit up, and the sky hasn’t yet taken on the beautiful bluish hue that appears towards the end of dusk. Use this time to decide on your composition, do some test shots, etc.

Singapore - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

This Singapore skyline was shot 15 minutes before the end of dusk (six minutes after sunset) at f/13, 1.6 seconds, ISO 100. The stage isn’t quite set yet, as the sky is still bright and not many of the city lights are illuminated.

When there are about 10 minutes left before dusk, more city buildings will be lit, and bluish hue starts to appear in the sky, getting deeper and deeper with every single passing minute. It’s these last 10 minutes of dusk that are undoubtedly the prime time to shoot blue hour photography.

In addition, the limited available light at blue hour allows for your shutter speed to naturally get longer, especially with the use of a small aperture. Shoot in Aperture Priority mode and use a bigger f-stop number such as f/13, which helps create smoothed-out water and rushing clouds effects (provided that you’re shooting with a tripod).

ND filter - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

A neutral density (ND) filter is an item that will enrich your blue hour photography experience and images.

Add an ND Filter

To enhance such effects, try shooting with a neutral density (ND) filter attached. ND filters help reduce the light that is coming through the lens, allowing you to use much slower shutter speeds.

For example, with a 3-stop ND filter attached, a base shutter speed of 2-seconds is extended to 15 seconds. For a greater effect, use 6-stop ND filter to extend a base shutter speed of 2-seconds to 128 seconds (just over two minutes), which gives your photo a surreal and dreamy feel that is typically seen in long exposure photography, like Marina Bay (Singapore) photo below.

Singapore - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

This Marina Bay photo was shot three minutes before the end of dusk (f/13, 135 seconds, ISO 100). The blue hour sky looks just right – not too light, not too dark, not overly vibrant. Also, an exposure of 135 seconds (with a 6-stop ND filter attached) helped create a silky smooth water effect.

Blue Hour Suddenly Ends after Dusk

Blue hour photography is sometimes mixed up with night photography, which starts once dusk is over. You might be surprised to find out that night falls almost suddenly after dusk. It doesn’t even take 10 minutes for the blue hour sky at dusk to turn into pitch-black night.

Personally, I never shoot after dusk. Photos shot after dusk tend to come out very dark and colors look muddy as there is little bluish hue left in the sky. Your photos will look considerably different if you miss this prime time of blue hour even by a mere few minutes.

Hong Kong - How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour

This Hong Kong skyline was shot 8 minutes after the end of dusk. The bluish hue in the sky quickly disappeared, and the scene turned into the dark night rather abruptly.

Conclusion

In fact, what we call blue “hour” seems to last only approximately 10 minutes towards the end of dusk (depending on where you are located relative to the equator).

Blue hour photography is quite a time-sensitive genre, as this prime time of blue hour sky ends in the blink of an eye. So, stay focused, otherwise, you could suddenly miss it passing you by under the fast-changing dusk sky. I really wish blue hour could literally last for an hour!

Editor’s note: it does in some parts of the world, at certain times of the year. If you want more blue hour time – travel farther away from the equator! Where I live in Canada blue hour is almost a full hour in the summer, versus 20 minutes where the author lives in Singapore.

The post How to Find the Best Possible Time to Shoot Cityscapes at Blue Hour by Joey J appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Tips for Shooting Cityscapes Through a Window at Blue Hour

Shooting cityscape photos from inside a building (such as an observation deck of a tower, hotel room, etc.) pose a different set of challenges that you won’t experience shooting outdoors. Here are a few easy-to-follow tips for shooting the city at blue hour, with a focus on how to eliminate unwanted reflections from the glass.

Japan - Tips for Shooting Through a Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

Shanghai - Tips for Shooting Through a Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

Vietnam - Tips for Shooting Through a Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

The reflection-free shots above of Fukuoka skyline (Japan, top), Shanghai skyline (China, center) and Ho Chi Minh City skyline (Vietnam, bottom) were shot through glass windows of Fukuoka Tower, Shanghai World Financial Center Observatory and Bitexco Financial Tower respectively – following the methods described in this tutorial.

Bring a mini-tripod

In order to shoot at blue hour, a tripod is essential whether you’re shooting indoors or outdoors. But some observation decks don’t allow tripods because they are seen as a hindrance for other visitors. In that case, you may try to bring in a mini-tripod like a Gorillapod, as it’s unlikely to disturb other non-photography visitors.

Even if tripods are allowed, you may as well bring a mini tripod just in case, as it comes in handy when there is no suitable space to set up a regular tripod.

Gorillapod - Tips for Shooting Through a Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

Wipe the glass with a cloth

Glass windows of an observation deck aren’t always clean. Make sure to keep a cloth in your camera bag so that you can wipe an area to shoot through if it’s dirty. Obviously, you can’t wipe the other side of the window, though, so choose an area that has no stains, etc.

How to eliminate reflections off the window

This is the biggest challenge when taking photos through a glass window. The window works much like a mirror and it’s hard to completely prevent reflections (e.g. such as yourself, room lights) from showing up.

Typical tips to follow are shooting in close and as straight as possible to the glass (i.e. leaving a little gap between the glass and the lens so as not to let indoor lights creep in) and using a polarizing filter which helps cut reflections to some extent. Aside from these tips, I’d recommend the following “tools”.

Reflections - Tips for Shooting Through the Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

Ho Chi Minh City skyline (Vietnam) shot through the window of Bitexco Financial Tower. I tried my best by getting the lens really close to the window (almost touching it) and using a polarizing filter, but the room interior and stray lights still got reflected in the glass.

Using a DIY blackout curtain

This might be an old-school method, but I recently came across a photographer doing this on the observation deck of Shanghai World Financial Center (see below). Not advisable to use such a large curtain, though, as it blocks the view for other visitors and you’ll run the risk of being asked to leave by floor staff.

Blackout curtain Tips for Shooting Through the Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

Using a black jacket

I used to rely on this method and it worked relatively well. Set up a tripod very close to the window, and cover the whole rig (camera and tripod) with a black jacket to create a closed-in area around the camera so that no indoor lights get inside the jacket. Make sure to use a “black” jacket to reduce reflections, as a lighter-colored jacket does more harm than good and causes even more reflections.

Using black neck gaiter

This used to be my favourite method, as it doesn’t really catch the unwanted attention of other visitors (compared to using the jacket, etc.). The concept here is the same as using a jacket. To block any stray lights from getting in, wrap the black neck gaiter (neck warmer or scarf) around the lens and push the whole setup (camera and tripod) onto the window to completely shade the front element of the lens.

Jacket neck gaiter - Tips for Shooting Through the Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

Using a black jacket (left) and a black neck gaiter (right) to shade the front element of the lens and cut reflections from the window.

Using a lenskirt

A lenskirt is a tool specifically created to cut out reflections. This is what I’ve been using for the past few years with great success. By attaching a lenskirt to the front of your lens and the pushing suction cups onto the window, it shades the front element of the lens. This helps cut reflections from the window, leaving no chance for any stray light to get in.

With a black neck gaiter, I always had to make sure not to have vignetting (dark corners) by checking through the viewfinder (due to the edges of the neck gaiter getting too close to the lens). But the window-facing end of a lenskirt opens up like a softbox, so there is no worry of any edge vignetting being introduced.

Lenskirt - Tips for Shooting Through the Glass Window of an Observation Deck at Blue Hour

Conclusion

I hope these tips help you take reflection-free cityscape photos through glass windows of an observation deck on your next visit.

Lastly, you may wonder why I didn’t mention a rubber lens hood (which is said to work well for shooting through glass). I’ve tried it before but found it prone to vignetting, especially at a wide angle like 18mm or wider. And, when shooting cityscape photos from high above like an observation deck, you’re very likely to shoot wide, therefore I’ve excluded it from the list.

If you have any other tips or experiences using these suggested tools in this post, please share them in the comments below.

The post Tips for Shooting Cityscapes Through a Window at Blue Hour by Joey J appeared first on Digital Photography School.

Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Have you ever come across beautiful cityscape photos captured at twilight and dusk (the so-called “blue hour”) with silky smooth water, like this Marina Bay (Singapore) photo below, and wonder how you could do that yourself? Assuming that you’ve already got your camera (a body and lens), let me go through some of the other gear that is required to do stunning long exposure photography at twilight and dusk.

Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Marina Bay (Singapore), shot at 35mm, f/11, for 194 seconds (just over a 3-minute exposure).

Use a Tripod

A tripod is the single-most important piece of gear for photographers shooting at twilight and dusk. Photos shot at these hours require long exposures sometimes lasting for many seconds or even minutes. Therefore, a sturdy tripod is absolutely essential for keeping photos blur-free.

Unlike your camera body, a tripod isn’t something you will upgrade often. So, try to get the best possible tripod within your budget. A good tripod could last a lifetime! I own a Manfrotto MT190CXPRO3 Carbon Fibre Tripod (supports up to 7kg). If your tripod doesn’t come with a tripod head (like mine), get yourself a steady ball-head or 3-way style, whichever you prefer (I own Sirui K-20X Ballhead that supports 25kg).

Tripod - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Mini-Tripods

Mini tripods come in handy at locations where a full-size tripod isn’t allowed inside (e.g. The observation deck of a tower). I own a Joby Gorillapod Focus for DSLRs which supports up to 5kg. It has a dedicated ball head (Joby GorillaPod Ballhead X for Focus) that you can buy as a bundle, but I’m using my own ball-head (aforementioned Sirui K-20X Ballhead) as I feel it’s redundant to have two.

Mini tripod - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Clamp Tripod

A clamp tripod is another tool that comes in extremely handy when there is no appropriate space to set up a tripod. I own the Manfrotto 035 Super Clamp without Stud (supports up to 15kg). Into that, I plug the separately-sold Manfrotto 208HEX 3/8-Inch Camera Mounting Platform Adapter (or a cheaper alternative Manfrotto 037 Reversible Short Stud) into the socket in order to firmly mount a tripod head and camera on top of that. Then I clamp the whole setup onto handrails, etc. This setup is rock solid and is a game changer for us cityscape photographers aiming to take very sharp photos at twilight and dusk without using a full-sized tripod.

Clamp infographic - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

This graphic shows how to mount a DSLR on Manfrotto Super Clamp by using a camera mounting platform adapter.

Steps:

  1. Plug a camera mounting platform adapter into a Super Clamp socket and secure it with the double lock system.
  2. Mount a tripod head with DSLR on the mounting platform adapter, just like you do with your regular tripod.

Clamp - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Neutral Density Filters

Neutral density (ND) filters help reduce the light that is coming through the lens, allowing your shutter speed to be extended much longer. This is a must have tool if you want to create the silky smooth water effect typically seen in long exposure photography.

ND filters come in different strengths such as; 3-stop, 6-stop or 10-stop. The bigger the number, the darker the filter and the less light that is let through. My favorite is 6-stop ND filter (I own a B+W 6-Stop ND Filter). With this attached to my lens, a base exposure of 2 seconds (i.e. when no filter is attached) can be extended to 128 seconds. Each “stop” of the ND filter doubles the required exposure time (2 seconds ? 4 seconds [1 stop] ? 8 seconds [2 stops] ? 16 seconds [3 stops] ? 32 seconds [4 stops] ? 64 seconds [5 stops] ? 128 seconds [6 stops]), which is long enough to create silky smooth water effects.

Filters come in two types, screw-on and square filters. If you’re getting screw-on filters, be careful with the size of filter you’re purchasing. It depends on the filter thread size of your lens (e.g. 77mm for Nikon 12-24mm, 67mm for Canon 10-18mm, etc. – look inside your lens cap for the filter size of that lens). If you have two or more lenses with different filter thread sizes that you’d like to use an ND filter on, get one that fits your largest lens (i.e. lens with the largest filter thread size). Then purchase a step-up adapter ring to make the single filter fit into other lenses with smaller thread sizes.

Filters - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Left: Screw-on ND filter. Right: Drop-in square filter (image courtesy of Tiffen).

Or, you can get a square ND drop-in filter instead, along with a holder and adapters (check out at these options we’ve reviewed and featured here on dPS). The advantage of square filters is that you only need one filter to fit all of your lenses. That said, I still prefer screw-on filters because they take up less space in my camera bag and I only own one lens that takes front filters (my trusty Nikon 18-35mm with 77mm filter thread), anyway.

Wireless Remote or Cable Shutter Release

This is another essential tool, as it lets you take photos without touching the camera and helps keep your photos sharp. No need to get a pricey one, though. I’m still using a Phottix IR-Nikon (wireless remote) that I bought years ago for $20 (it is available for Canon as well).

Wireless remote - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Long Exposure Calculator App

When you use a semi-manual mode (e.g. Aperture Priority), the shutter speed cannot exceed 30 seconds on most DSLRs. With a 6-stop ND filter used at twilight and dusk, much longer than a 30-second exposure is required. So this is where you’ll need to switch to Manual Mode and take the full control of the camera yourself.

But, how will you know the correct exposure time (shutter speed) to use when your camera no longer assists you? Well, there are a number of free phone apps that help you determine a correct shutter speed. I’m using Long Exposure Calculator app by Junel Corales (get it here for iOS devices or here for Android).

Long exposure calculator - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

By setting your filter density (e.g. 6-stop) and base shutter speed (e.g. 2-seconds), the Long Exposure Calculator app automatically calculates the required shutter speed you will need to use (2 minutes and 8 seconds [128 seconds] in this case).

Lenskirt

A lenskirt is a handy tool when shooting through the glass window of an observation deck, hotel room window, etc., as it helps eliminate reflections (such as yourself, room lights) off of the glass window. It might catch the unwanted attention of other visitors due to its odd shape but it has worked quite well for me and has found a permanent place in my camera bag when I’m traveling.

Lenskirt - Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk

Lenskirt in use on the 100th-floor observation deck of the Shanghai World Financial Center. By attaching it to the lens and its pushing suction cups onto the window, it shades the front element of the lens and cuts reflections from the glass window, leaving no chance for any stray light to get into the camera.

Conclusion

That’s all about it. I hope this will get you started with long exposure photography at twilight and dusk. For me, dusk is the most beautiful moment of the day. It ends in the blink of an eye, and that’s what makes it even more special. Try to capture the beauty of long exposure photography at twilight and dusk with this gear.

If you have any other pieces of gear you use for long exposures that you find indispensable, please share them in the comments below.

The post Recommended Gear for Doing Long Exposure Photography at Twilight and Dusk by Joey J appeared first on Digital Photography School.