Long exposure photography has become very popular over time especially for photographers who shot mainly landscapes, night and astro. Through this technique it is possible to give your own touch of surrealism and artistic to your photos

Nevertheless, using this technique there are several mistakes that could be made and that can have a negative impact on the final result, so in this article we will see 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid in Long Exposure Photography and how to solve them for the best results


1. Forget closing Viewfinder

It is one of the most trivial mistakes that are made during long exposures shots but it is also one of the simplest to fix. This problem arises in case of long exposures with generally +30s  shutter speeds, the light leaking through the viewfinder causes strange purples spots that ruins definetively your shot

To solve this problem you have to close the camera viewfinder before taking the long exposure. Professional cameras are equipped with special shutters for closing the viewfinder but on the market there are viewfinder covers with little expense


2. Using Auto Focus

Manual focus is in most cases preferable to automatic focus but in long exposure photography is a must. To understand this just think that putting a dark filter in front of our camera what we see will be influenced by this reduction of light, due to the ND filter making autofocus impossible or very difficult. To correctly capture a image using filter just follow this 3 simple steps:

  • Focus manually your image
  • Place filter and keep the same focus
  • Take the shot


Using auto focus with a filter can reduce the sharpness

3. Using Cheap Filters

ND filters reduce the transmittance of light passing through the lens, it is in fact this reduction of light that makes long exposure possible thanks to a lowering of the general light passing through the lens. Using cheap filters makes this lowering possible but could affect the color tones and color spectrum of the image.

For this reason I use Hoya filters which have excellent light transmittance that drastically reduces the risk of unwanted color changes when taking long exposures images, using ACCU-ND technology which does not allow infrared to escape from the light spectrum. Hoya Filters are made with excelent quality materials, the optical glass is mounted on lightweight handcrafted aluminum frame and gives back to the user a sense of high end product. The ACCU-ND technology based Hoya filters  guarantees an excellent final result, guaranteeing an equal lowering of visible light and infrared without affecting color changes.

4. Using Bulb mode Without a Remote Shutter

This problem occurs in all those cases where long exposure is used for times longer than 30 seconds, trying to keep the shutter button pressed without using the remote shutter can be very difficult. The reason is the involuntary movement that is transmitted to the camera causing a blurry result. The use of a remote shutter is recommended in long exposure photography and the costs for this accessory are also quite limited

Remote shutter is very usefull for bulb mode

5. Using the Wrong Shutter Speed

When I started in long exposure photography, I mainly use ND10 filters, with the result that many of the photos I made had a creative and artistic look. However, very often long exposure photography is not only this but using shorter shutter speed time you can benefit from the most disparate situations and do not miss other opportunities that the various circumstances offer. Explore, experiment to understand which filter use and which shutter speed to choose consequently will greatly improve your experience in this regard

Using the same shutter speed let you miss opportunities


Mastering long exposure photography takes time and practice but avoiding these few mistakes will take you a long way towards consistently returning home with good and high-quality images. To capture beautiful long exposure images the key point is to learn to understand all situations and how to capture them

Are you making or have you made any of these mistakes too? Just let me know