New to DSLR photography

semoliphoto

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In late summer I was gifted my parents' old Nikon D60 DSLR camera. So far I've been enjoying it immensely and my interest in photography has definitely piqued. However, it's all very overwhelming.

One thing I really want to master in landscape photography. I have a cottage in northern Ontario, Canada and there's some really beautiful sights up here. One thing I want to try is capturing moving clouds and water through long-exposure shots, but I've run through several tutorials and each time, the picture ends up mega overexposed (so much so that I can't even edit it in Lightroom without it looking off). What's the best solution to fixing this issue? The shutter speed needs to be long to capture the movement but it also leaves the photo terribly washed out. My ISO is at it's lowest as well (100).

What's the best solution to this?
 

photo1x1.com

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Hi and welcome to the forum!
What you need is an ND Filter. They are available in different "strengths" from 1x to 1000x or even higher.
Your problem is: the longer your exposure, the more light will get to your sensor. Closing the aperture (higher number) will reduce the light, but there is a limit. Most lenses stop at f22. So you need to reduce the light with something else - here is where ND filter come into play.
 

TonyBallas

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In late summer I was gifted my parents' old Nikon D60 DSLR camera. So far I've been enjoying it immensely and my interest in photography has definitely piqued. However, it's all very overwhelming.

One thing I really want to master in landscape photography. I have a cottage in northern Ontario, Canada and there's some really beautiful sights up here. One thing I want to try is capturing moving clouds and water through long-exposure shots, but I've run through several tutorials and each time, the picture ends up mega overexposed (so much so that I can't even edit it in Lightroom without it looking off). What's the best solution to fixing this issue? The shutter speed needs to be long to capture the movement but it also leaves the photo terribly washed out. My ISO is at it's lowest as well (100).

What's the best solution to this?

A neutral-density (ND) filter is a great bet to reduce the amount of light through the lens. You might want to look into getting a few, like a 1 and a 3stop filter and say one of each of Graduated Neutral-Density filters. These filters give a gradient from top to bottom or bottom to top of the amount of less light they allow through.

In other words GND filter start dark and gradually go to none or almost no change in light allowed. These come in different amount of stops down, and also have different hardness and softness to whether they cut of the step down abruptly or the graduated through out.

I have seen where many photographers use the systems with a cage that you slide in and out a rectangular shaped thin film or glass filter. These can be pricey for the better models and brands. Circular filters can be used too, but they’re not as versatile to use as the slide in ones. Hope this helps??


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DGMPhotography

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Yep, ND filter.
 

Derrel

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In late summer I was gifted my parents' old Nikon D60 DSLR camera. So far I've been enjoying it immensely and my interest in photography has definitely piqued. However, it's all very overwhelming.

One thing I really want to master in landscape photography. I have a cottage in northern Ontario, Canada and there's some really beautiful sights up here. One thing I want to try is capturing moving clouds and water through long-exposure shots, but I've run through several tutorials and each time, the picture ends up mega overexposed (so much so that I can't even edit it in Lightroom without it looking off). What's the best solution to fixing this issue? The shutter speed needs to be long to capture the movement but it also leaves the photo terribly washed out. My ISO is at it's lowest as well (100).

What's the best solution to this?

I would look for something in the 10-stop range in neutral Density filters. One name-brand one is called The Big Stopper. There are many of these on the market.
 

TCampbell

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"ND" = "Neutral Density" filter. This of this as sunglasses... for your camera lens.

If you put a tinted glass filter in front of your lens and that glass cuts out 50% of the light... then you can take a photo by leaving the shutter open twice as long. When you cut the light by 50% that is considered "1 photographic stop" (each 'stop' either halves or doubles the amount of light depending on if you are cutting a stop or increasing a stop. There are stops of ISO, stops of aperture, stops of shutter speed... and stops of "neutral density" filters. For this situation what you want is the neutral density filter.

If the filter only allows 25% of the light to pass, then you can take a photo which is four times as long. That would be a 2-stop ND filter.

The most common density allows about 1/8th of the light to pass. That would be a 3 stop ND filter and it would let you take an exposure which is 8x longer than you could do without the filter.

However... there's a naming convention that can confuse things. While sometimes these filters are sold in 'stops', they are also sometimes listed by their 'optical density' value. In that system each "0.1" worth of optical density is equal to 1/3rd of a photographic stop. So an ND 0.3 would mean that it's actually a 1 stop filter. An ND 0.6 is a 2 stop filter. An ND 0.9 is a 3 stop filter.

I've even seen these listed by percent of light that can pass... (e.g. ND 50 means 50% can pass -- that's a 1 stop filter. An ND 25 means 25% can pass and that's a 2 stop filter. An ND 13 means 13% (a round-up of 12.5%) of the light can pass and that's a 3 stop filter.)

You can even stack them. You could stack a 3 stop filter and a 2 stop filter to get 5 total stops.

So given that sometimes they'll list the filter by "stops", sometimes by "optical density" and sometimes by "percent" of light that can pass... it can be confusing to figure out what to buy.

One more thing...

Though the 3 stop filter is probably the most popular (it's what I'd typically recommend if you're only going to have one filter in your bag), there is a mega version of the filter which is a 10 stop filter. That filter is a bit of a trick to use because it's so dark that you can't see through the filter. This means you have to frame and focus your subject without the filter on the camera (so you can see what you're doing) AND you wont get reliable metering with the filter on the camera so you'll want to take a meter reading without the filter, then work out the adjustment to the shutter speed to add 10 extra stops, then attach the filter and manually dial in the correct exposure to take the shot. Of course you don't want the camera to attempt to re-focus the shot ... so once you get the focus correct, you'll want to switch your lens to manual-focus mode and THEN attach the filter.

You can get these filters in a thread-on type (the screw onto the threads on the front of your lens) but that means different lenses may require different size filters and that creates a new problem because now you need a filter for every lens size you own. BUT... there are two solutions to this.

One solution is to buy only the filter in the size of the largest thread size needed by any lens you own ... and then buy something called a "step up ring" which allows that larger filter to be attached to smaller diameter lenses. For example most of my own lenses have 77mm filter thread diameters. So I own several different types of filters which are all 77mm diameter filters. But one of my lenses uses 67mm threads. So I bought a 67-77mm "step up ring" - the ring threads onto my 67mm diameter lens and then I can thread on the 77mm filters.

The other solution is to buy square slide-in filters. These filters are either square or rectangular and you attach a bracket to the front of your lens and it has a number of slots that let you slide in the filters (typically about 3 slots so you can stack different types of filters). There is an adapter ring that lets you attach that bracket to a lens of any thread diameter needed. e.g. so in my case I'd get the 77mm adapter ring and the 67mm adapter ring (and I also own an 82mm lens so that's an 82mm adapter ring). Now I just need one set of filters and I can use them on any lens I own regardless of the thread size.

The popular vendor of the slide-in filters is "Lee" filters but Cokin makes budget-priced filters in the same type of setup. I do recommend that if you get the slide-in type, make sure you get the 100mm (4") size (they make smaller sizes for smaller cameras... but for a DSLR I wouldn't recommend getting anything less than the 100mm size because you may find that some larger lenses and especially wide-angle lenses want larger filter sizes.

Lastly... since these filters are flat pieces of shiny glass... they can create reflections. Be careful if shooting a scene with very bright light sources visible in the scene and also shade the glass (put your hand or something over the glass to block sunlight or other bright lights from shining on the glass.)
 

Low_Sky

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If you use photoshop, you can also simulate the effects of a ND filter by stacking multiple exposures. There are lots of online tutorials about this method.

Personally, I prefer just carrying an ND. I use the Lee Seven5 (75mm) kit for my crop sensor mirrorless camera.

There are pros and cons both ways. If you don't use photoshop (or other apps that do the same thing), the answer is simple. Get a filter.


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jaomul

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If you shoot raw, (if not Google it and consider it) and want to try it out, but a welding mask glass eyepiece, they are cheap and cause colour casts but can be balanced in raw editing to an extent
 

rosh4u

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Look for Neutral Density filter, you can find them in different ranges and strengths. It will even help you to give multiple exposures as you are looking for.
 

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