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My First Long Exposure Photo Outside In The Evening

Travemünde Beach Maritim Hotel Original Photo

My mother and her husband asked me today if I would like to accompany them when they drive to the beach in Travemünde in the evening. That was a nice idea, I planned to use my tripod and to take some evening or night photos at some point anyway, and the beach is a perfect subject. I have read a lot about long exposure, for example when I tested long exposure at home, I also learned how to set up all things manually with my D7100. That means, I know already a little bit about the theory, it was time that I use it in practice.

The photo above is basically my first good long exposure night photo, I shot a few others minutes before but many of them turned out to be bad, that’s practicing, I am ok with that. The photo is shot with 10 seconds shutter speed, F11 aperture and ISO 100. I disabled vibration reduction (VR) of my lens as I had to use a tripod anyway. I used the wide end of my 15-105mm Nikon kit lens, the photo is shot with around 34mm. I could have used 15mm I think, but I didn’t to that as 34mm framed the scene well anyhow, because I didn’t want some things on the left and right in the picture, I wanted to be a little closer to the tower (Maritim Hotel) and beach. But I also wanted to see enough of the water, there were little waves but even then the long exposure makes it look slightly milky anyhow, beautiful.

It became pretty dark (dusk), as a beginner with long exposure I am quite surprised what you can achieve with longer shutter speed and a tripod. This is a lot of fun, although it is a lot of trial and error for a beginner because first I used 30 seconds shutter speed, I went up until I noticed 10 seconds works well for the situation. I was also concerned about focussing, it’s more difficult to see in the dark if everything is sharp, you get my point, I was still unsure about a lot of things. I am happy that a few of my test shots are pretty cool.I edited the picture above and made a second version, I think the scene works well in a pink tone too…

Travemünde Beach Maritim Hotel Photo Edited

Although we were two hours there, the time was flying like crazy, that happens when you are engaged with your camera. My mother was testing her new metal detector on the beach, that is her hobby. Her husband was swimming while I experimented with my camera and while my mother experimented with her detector. However, we had to leave at some point as her husband needs to work this sunday, I wished we would have had more time. But the beach is not far away, I will do this again anyway. Meanwhile, I check out the photos of this evening and see if I find some more that are worth to upload. Hope you liked my first long exposure night photo. What do you think about the photo?

6 Comments »

  1. I think you chose just the right focal length for the lens. I don’t know much about composition yet but the photo seems to have just the right balance. I like how it’s light enough to see everything, especially the reflection on the water, but you can tell it’s night because all the lights are on. Good job!

    • Yes, I didn’t expect that just 10 seconds of shutter speed would make the photo that bright. Since I had not much experience with this kind of photography, the result of brightness did blow me away anyhow. I like the reflections too, good point! I am glad you like the photo 🙂

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