Long Exposure Techniques on Galapagos

Perfect Sunset - Galapagos, Ecuador

This photo was taken on the Isabela Island on the Galapagos. Actually one day after this I took this one. I was lucky with weather as it played in our favor during the whole time. Most of my personal favorite photos are long exposure shots, so I’ll briefly explain what my setup is. Yours might be different and work as well but this is how it’s been working well for me in the past.

I shoot with a Nikon D7000 and the 12-24mm f/4 lens. It’s IMO the best wide-angle lens for a crop sized sensor camera. I also used a Hitech 3-stop soft GND and Hitech 3-stop ND filter, which helps to create the purple / pink color in the sky. As for Tripods I can only recommend Manfrotto, which is my tripod of choice. Important to me is, that the tripod legs can fully spread and get the camera as low as possible to the ground. A remote or cable release is also essential to avoid any camera shake during long exposure. I usually do not use the “mirror-up” technique and have never been able to see any difference. However, I do take advantage of the in-camera long exposure noise reduction, which works very well on the Nikon D7000.

Timing is important for these kind of shots. You have to time your shot in a way that your exposure starts just before the sun starts to set and continues on until the sun has set. So there is only a very limited time frame (actually just one per day) to get this kind of photo. I did the same thing with the shot of the Cologne Bridge and Cathedral.

With this shot, I spread the legs of the tripod to its fullest extend and stopped the time for the exposure manually at f/8. If I remember correctly it was about 6-7 minutes. With the sun setting and the filters, I did only very little post-processing to get the colors you see here. All post-processing is done in Apple’s Aperture.

More information and purchase options about this shot can be found here: http://www.andredistel.com/project/perfect-reflection-galapagos-islands/

 

 

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