We Simplify The Technical!
Host and Professional Photographer Peggy Farren interviews ocean photographer Satesh Ramjattan.  Satesh gives us a step by step process for creating amazing long exposure images.


Please scroll down for show notes.

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Understand Photography General Notes


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Deerfield Beach Pier Sunrise

Creating Serene Images Using Long Exposures with Satesh Ramjattan

“I want my images to help educate and show people the beauty of what nature should look like.” 

Why shoot with long exposures?

  • To capture the movement and slow things down.
  • To create smooth and ethereal looking images.

What subjects are good for long exposures?

  • Moving water such as ocean waves, streams, and even lakes make for great long exposure images.
  • Receding water at low tide leaves streaks and can make a good foreground element.
  • Early morning beach scenes are a favorite – there are fewer people and the sand has been wiped clean by the tide.
  • Clouds streaking across the sky will also add interest as a long exposure shot.
  • Make sure to anchor the scene with a strong nonmoving subject.  

“I shoot what I feel.  I like to work with what’s there, whether it’s sunny or gray and overcast.”

Setting Up for a Good Long Exposure Shot

  • Any lens can be used for this type of image.  Satesh’s favorite is a wide angle 16-35 mm.
  • Check your batteries!  Long exposure shots use more battery than regular shots.
  1. Stabilize your tripod.  Camera shake on a long exposure will ruin the shot.
  • If you’re shooting on sand or loose soil, extend the very bottom section of your tripod first, and dig the feet down into the sand – you don’t want any of the locking mechanisms to fill with grit.
  • Hang your bag from the center column to help weigh the tripod down for even more stability.

2.    Use filters.  Extending the time of exposure means you’re letting in a lot more light.  Filters help keep the shot from being overexposed.

  • Satesh recommends LEE filters.  He uses both a graduated neutral density filter to bring down the brightness of the sky as well as a variety of stackable ND filters at various levels of intensity depending on what time of day he’s shooting (3, 6, 10, and even a 15 stop).
  • You will also need an Adapter Ring to attach the lens to the Filter Holder.

3.  Camera Settings.  

  • Shoot in RAW mode to capture as much information as possible so it’s easier to edit and recover the image in post processing if the exposure is off.
  • Leave the white balance in AUTO.
  • Turn OFF long exposure noise reduction.  Noise is easier to fix in PhotoShop – Satesh uses Nik tools to reduce the noise in his images.
  • Satesh usually keeps his ISO at 100, but will occasionally set it to 200.
  • Keep the camera in MANUAL to get your exposure and set your focus without the filters first.
  • Lock down your focus. (Flip it to MANUAL so it doesn’t move.)
  • Carefully slide the filters into the holder.
  • Once your filters are in place, you’ll need to change some of your settings. Using a 3-stop filter means you need to adjust your settings 3 stops.  LEE has an app (The Lee Exposure Guide) to help you get the most accurate settings for the shot.Lee Exposure Guide
  • Set a timer or use a remote shutter release to reduce camera shake. (Cable versions are cheaper than the wireless versions, don’t require batteries, and are more reliable.)
  • After you’ve taken your first shot, CHECK the HISTOGRAM.  Don’t rely on the LCD screen for accurate information.  Make adjustments as necessary to keep levels from climbing either side.

Take care of your equipment.  Be sure to rinse and brush off any sand or grit from your tripod and vacuum out your camera bag.

Satesh’s other projects and ideas

  • Seamotions – images shot using a combination of slow shutter speeds to capture the movement of waves with the final image looking more like a painting than a photograph. These are created standing IN the water without a tripod.  Shot at about 1/8 s for a slightly blurry image that is reminiscent of brush strokes on a canvas.
  • Panning on a choppy ocean can create an interesting look.
  • Over/Under shots using Aquatech Sport housing.
  • Looking to explore B&W images and time lapses.

Finding Satesh

Website and Blog satesh.com

Facebook  Photography by Satesh

Instagram @photographybysatesh

Pilings-in-the-Fog-Naples-Florida-Landscape-Photography long exposure  Gnarly-Roots-Florida-Landscape-Photography Long Exposure




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