Weekly Mobile Photography Challenge #7: Long Exposure

  1. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Aug 7, 2019

    dsmonteiro , Aug 7, 2019 :

    Hi all!

    Another week, another Weekly Mobile Photography Challenge! And this week, it's truly a challenging one! This week will be all about Long Exposure and @jlasensiofi will be the one sharing his insights on the topic! All his amazing photos were taken with ND filters (which he'll explain more in detail below), but don't let that stop you. If your phone has a Pro Mode, you can still have fun with long exposure photos.

    This Kevin Abosch video shows in a simple way how to access the several controls in Pro Mode:

    Don't be afraid to tinker with the settings until you get the shot you want! You may need some tries until you hit that perfect balance of shutter speed, ISO and exposure. Also, if you need tips or additional help, be sure to ask for help from the rest of the community, I'm sure you'll get some great advices!

    To make the challenge, well, more challenging, try to share pictures taken this week, rather than directly from the gallery. The idea behind this series is to invite you to go out and take new, amazing shots. And remember, it’s all about mobile photos.

    The best 10 photos will be awarded 100 raffle points that can be used to enter raffles. You can read more about it here.

    Challenge Rules:
    - All photos should be taken with a smartphone, regardless of brand. Some weekly challenges may be specific to some OnePlus models, but the thread will be clear about it.
    - The photo should match the challenge's topic. Non-related pictured are not eligible to win.
    - Any photo shared by you should be your own. Any kind of cheating will result in disqualification in the present and any future challenges.
    - Each user can post up to 5 different photos each week.
    - While the photos are still yours, you allow OnePlus to use your photos for promotion purposes.

  2. jlasensiofi
    KitKat Aug 7, 2019

    jlasensiofi , Aug 7, 2019 :

    Weekly Mobile Photography Challenge #7: Long exposure.

    Hi fellow photographer,

    It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk with you about long exposure photography, for this week's challenge. Of course, from the point of view of a pure amateur.

    Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to publish several posts for OnePlus Spain about photography with our OnePlus and one of the topics I addressed was precisely that. Long exposure photography with Pro Mode.

    I knew that this type of photography is a difficult subject because we are very limited by the cameras of our mobile phones, mobile phones in general.

    To take long exposure photography it is necessary to work with long exposure times, making it very likely that our photos become overexposed. My experience says that it's impossible to achieve good results only with the camera controls. And after doing a lot of tests and reading a lot about this topic, I came to the conclusion that only if I used an accessory could I get it. And this accessory is a neutral density filter (ND filter).

    A neutral density filter reduces the amount of light that reaches the sensor. If it is necessary in DSRL cameras on many occasions, you can imagine that in mobile phone cameras we say that it is essential for this type of photography, especially being unable to act on the diaphragm, which is a fixed value.

    With them, we are making the "equivalence" of having a diaphragm that allow for more or less light. With this third factor, we will be able to control the exposure times not only depending on the ISO, but also the amount of light we let pass.

    There are fixed and variable neutral density filters, and their nomenclature depends on the amount of light that obscures or blocks. The disadvantage of fixed ND filters is that each one is manufactured for a certain level of dimming, so if you want a range that allows different light blocks you have to get a few of them. That's why I decided on a variable one (ND2-400). These filters have two polarizing crystals, one fixed and the other rotating, which depending on the position allows a greater or lesser passage of light. Its advantage is that you have several levels of light blocking in a single filter and it is more comfortable.

    It is very important to get a quality one, but for what I wanted to do it seemed to me that it was enough, although I have to confess that at the total level of darkness it produces a series of defects that, from what I read, are common in almost all this type of variable filters.

    I also have to say that there are exclusive ND clamp filters for mobile phones, but I didn't know what their result could be and if they would work well with the double or triple lens of our OnePlus.

    The problem of attaching the ND filter to the mobile, I solved it by fastening it with electrical tape in a case that I had bought. I already did this with my previous OnePlus 6 and I have repeated it with my current OnePlus 7 Pro.

    And not only this accessory is needed, but also a grid and a tripod, which I already had to take pictures of stars. Here you have a first example I did with my previous OnePlus 6. Without ND filter, with an ISO 500 and a 50"exposure time.


    The result, which is ugly as he is alone but 100 percent useful, is this.




    I do not intend that we all use these pseudo professional solutions, there are less striking ones, but we do get an idea of what may be needed. There are simpler solutions that we can find easily.

    We must program well what I want to photograph and where I can find places that have the reasons I want. It takes a previous preparation, a good search for places and, if possible, frames that can give more emphasis to our photos.

    Also, never forget to take pictures with the timer. I usually put it to shoot three seconds after the shot, make sure that the tripod does not move and we get shaken. Be careful because in the photos of car trails it is very important to have this timer time and thus get ahead of them.

    If we are going to take a picture of car trails, we must keep in mind that it is not the same in the city as on a highway. Both the speed of the cars and the amount of them will influence the camera parameters. They say that it is best to time the time it takes to pass the car. It is true that, if it takes 5”, putting an exposure time of 30” is useless and the picture will not work out. If I put 5” of exposure, the stroke that is obtained is the one that corresponds to that time that the car is moving. From a first test, we can put a longer exposure time to get longer strokes. If a car runs at 30 km/h, with the same exposure time, the route will be smaller but with more intensity than if it runs at 100 km/h, in which case the route will be longer but less intense when passing faster. If we have few cars, for example, we are interested in putting a long exposure time to capture a very marked path of all who can pass. And as we increase the exposure time, we will have the opportunity to capture the wake of many more cars.

    And it's time to test, shoot, see the result and vary the ISO parameters and exposure time, always using the lowest possible ISO to avoid noise.

    In this photo, taken in the center of my city and that was one of my first tests when I still had the OnePlus 6, I made this first photo with an ISO 100 and an exposure time of 4". Traffic was slow and I checked that I could use this time.


    And with the current OnePlus 7 Pro, I took these photos with an ISO 100 and an exposure time of 15". The traffic was faster, there were enough cars and I changed the exposure time until I got a result that would convince me. You can see that longer strokes were captured. Here, seeing that I had that ISO in automatic mode, I made an exposure compensation of -2 to help avoid overexposure by the intensity of the white lights of the cars that came from the front.



    And if at any time we see that there is little traffic and we do not get a good amount of trails, we always have the option of making several shots and a subsequent stack. So, for example, from the previous two I got the one I show you next. Personally I think the result is spectacular.


    As I took the pictures, I was seeing if the position of the ND filter blocked me little or a lot of light. Based on this, I opened or closed it more if the photo came out underexposed or overexposed. To older, a care that we must have is the focus. The truth is that it becomes very complicated to focus when you have the filter with little light; The mobile screen looks very bad and it is not easy to focus. If we add to that that we still cannot block the autofocus, then the work gets even more complicated. It is essential to achieve the functionality of blocking focus and exposure in Pro Mode.

    We can also take pictures of water with silk effect. I have to admit that they are easier, but it also has its problems. When you want to block the passage of light from the ND filter to the maximum, violet lights are produced that spoil the photos. Only high quality variable ND filters do not do this and that is already a big word. This makes it difficult to take pictures of scenes that directly affect the sun. Like it or not, I overexposed it and burned an area of photography. Therefore, I had to look for shady areas or do them late in the day.

    The photo of this waterfall I managed to do it with an ISO 100 and an exposure time of 1". Here I also left the ISO automatically, had a value of 100, and set the exposure compensation to -2.


    Depending on the light conditions, the silk effect can be made more pronounced if we can put a longer exposure time.

    The next photo and the one in the header of my post, made in the same place, the first has an exposure time of 10" and the second 4" with an exposure compensation of -2, while the first has no exposure correction. Both with an automatic ISO that was worth 100.


    And finally there are the silk effect photos with the sea. Knowing the limitation I just mentioned, I made the decision to go at sunset. This first photo is made with an ISO 100 and an exposure time of 20".


    That I increased to 30 "in this one by darkening something else.


    All photos are subsequently edited with Lightroom and/or Snapseed, mainly to correct the histogram and make some readjustment. Likewise, all cuts of the originals.

    We can not forget that we are talking about the camera of a mobile, that its limitations, by definition and not because our OnePlus are not good, do not leave things as we would like. Even being a mobile, you can get very attractive photographs and that, at least, I never thought I could take them with one of them.

    And after all, we just have to try, try and try.

    Never Settle.

  3. Iamrohit.07
    Honeycomb Aug 7, 2019

    Iamrohit.07 , Aug 7, 2019 :

    This bird was waiting for someone in that dark also. i didn't knew but there was something unusual at that moment. and the flight was also high so on long exposure i captured the route of flight above the head of this little life!
    second picture is from the side of road on daily life.

  4. rahulnigam95
    Froyo Aug 7, 2019

    Attached Files:

  5. swaraj_c.r.
    Gingerbread Aug 7, 2019

  6. R1565198678898
    Eclair Aug 7, 2019

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019

  7. csrcsr07
    Marshmallow Aug 7, 2019

    antonyjen, jlasensiofi and Bouncer71 like this.
  8. G_plusone
    Marshmallow Aug 7, 2019

    G_plusone , Aug 7, 2019 :
    Nice Introduction and cool shots

  9. Starcommander
    Lollipop Aug 7, 2019

    Starcommander , Aug 7, 2019 :
    I will upload them soon. Especially the night trails
    Uploading some from my Assam and Bhutan trip.
    All take with exposure set from 4 to 30



    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019

  10. antonyjen
    Jelly Bean Aug 7, 2019

  11. jlasensiofi
    KitKat Aug 7, 2019

  12. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Aug 7, 2019

    MosheG1 , Aug 7, 2019 :
    took this on my OnePlus 7 pro
    100 iso and 30 sec with all the rest on auto
    edited in snapseed

  13. Oscar_Ojeda
    Donut Aug 7, 2019

  14. MKT_IRFAN3735
    Jelly Bean Aug 8, 2019

  15. K S Vijay Kumar
    Froyo Aug 8, 2019

    K S Vijay Kumar , Aug 8, 2019 :
    excellent thread. many thanks to all those wonderful photographers with the pictures attached here..! learnt something new and came to know what my Op7 pro can do :)

    antonyjen and Bouncer71 like this.
  16. VaishnuYP
    Eclair Aug 8, 2019

  17. K S Vijay Kumar
    Froyo Aug 8, 2019

    K S Vijay Kumar , Aug 8, 2019 :

    I've captured them with my One plus 7 pro which actually was an automatic shot but had little longer exposure.

  18. K S Vijay Kumar
    Froyo Aug 8, 2019

  19. Roshan_k_Mathew
    Donut Aug 8, 2019

  20. P1563161903296
    Cupcake Aug 8, 2019