Long Exposures of 8 Minutes

By Rick Jacobi

If you have water and or sky with clouds in a photo and want them to look really smooth, then you have to do a long exposure.  Eight minutes works really well for this type of photo. In order to do an eight-minute photo a 16 ND filter is needed.   Technique is as follows:

Use a tripod and focal length between 18 and 35. Anything outside that range might get flaring.

1 Manual focus.

2 Compose your subject

3 Aperture Priority Mode

Turn your Aperture until the Time comes up to 1/125 sec. Trying to

determine the Aperture for the shot.

ISO – 100

4 Remember what the Aperture was needed to get the time 1/125 sec

5 Put on the ND filter

6 Aperture to Manual Mode.

7 Set your remembered Aperture from above.

8 ISO – 6400

9 Shoot for 8 sec.  This is a test shoot to see if you need to move Aperture up or down to get the exposure the way you want. If your Aperture goes below “3” in order to get the right exposure then go to 10 sec and leave Aperture above “3”.

10 Once you have the exposure the way you want set ISO back to 100 and set to “Bulb” and shoot for 8 mins. Can use your timer on your phone to determine when the 8 minutes is up.

The three photos were shot at 8 minutes and post processed in Photoshop. I wanted to get the water and sky really smooth with a little hint of clouds in the sky.



If you have any questions about this technique, please contact me.

Rick Jacobi


Rick Jacobi is a Volunteer Photo Guide with Arizona Highways PhotoScapes