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How to lower exposure while doing long exposure shots.


So I’m doing some night photography and I want some nice streaks of the head lights and tails lights of cars. So my shutter speed has to be long. However, my photo has too much exposure in them. Changing the shutter speed would fix that but I can’t cuz I need it to be long. My iso is at 100 (lowest setting) and my aperture is at f 3 (lowest setting). Any help would be appreciated.



I'm not sure what you mean by "f 3 (lowest setting)"; I'm assuming that's a typo. Pretty much any aperture with a higher number (say f/16) would give you better results.

You might want to look into getting a neutral density (ND) filter. One of these (they come in several strengths) will cut down the light getting into the camera.



Assuming you’re at the lowest ISO value, you only have two options: Narrow the aperture; Use a neutral density (ND) filter.

I would recommend either a 3-stop or 6-stop ND. Though first narrow your aperture by that amount to see if that will have the desired outcome.

Note though that if using a 6-stop or stronger ND filter, your camera may have difficulty focusing. You may thus need to first focus without the filter attached, set to manual focus to lock focus, then attach the filter (this would require working on a tripod)


EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x


Thanks for joining the conversation, hanitakashi!

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Not applicable

Just restating what others have said, a smaller f-stop number means more light (larger aperture opening) while a larger f-stop number means less light (smaller aperture opening). So you would want a larger f-stop number to let in less light in your case.

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