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The Guide to Long Exposure shots creating motion Blur
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SparksBird
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I have seen a lot of interest in this as of late so have decided to do a guide on how to create some very nice and interesting shots with motion blur.  The idea here is to capture something that is in motion creating a moving effect.  This is mostly done with flowing water as it creates a smooth, silky water effect.  If you have taken a shot at night where your exposure is high and captured a moving car then you will see this effect as the car will have a blur streak to it while the non moving objects in the image are still.  This is because the amount of time the shutter has to remain open in order to allow the light in.  So the longer the shutter is open to allow more light in it gives moving objects the effect of blur.  What is very challening about this is your AC needs to remain as still as possible to keep the entire image from being blurry.  So here is what you need in order to have a sucesful motion blur image.

1.  Location.  Find a good stream/ocean/river something with flowing water that you will be able to capture the blur effect.  Water is of course the most common long exposure shots.
2.  A very strong typically a 10 stop ND1000 filter for any daytime long exposure shots.  I have and really like the Freewell but PolarPro also makes one for the MP and MA.  

3.  Very little to no wind.  If it is windy you will not get any usable images as I explained why you need the AC to remain still for the 1 to 3 seconds while you take the long exposure shot.

4.  A lot of luck and patience.  It is very challenging and you will get frustrated to go home and find none of the images are usable.  

5.  Manual settings/Exposure/ISO 100.  This is an absolute must as you have to set the exposure to be between 1" to 3" in order to get the blur effect.  The longer the exposure the more blur you will get but is also more difficult to get the longer the exposure.  I ensure my EV is anywhere between 0 to -0.7.   With a ND1000 filter that is typically between 1.2" to 2" exposure.  maybe more as it depends on how bright it is outside

6.  Less than 10% of the photos turn out.  So best way is to get to the spot you want the image.  Put in sports mode as this ensures the most stable and hover.  Then ensure you set the file format to JPG.  The reason you do not want RAW is because you can only take a timed shot every 5 seconds.  Changing to jpg format you can take a photo as fast as every 2 seconds but keep in mind if your exposure is 1.8" or higher you can only do a timed shot for every 3 seconds.  

7.  Set your timed shot and let it take a shot every 2-3 seconds for at least a couple minutes.  This will ensure you having a higher chance of having a decent shot out of the batch.
  
8.  Practice practice practice.  Do not get frustrated as I said you will have many more failures than succeses.  The more practice you do the better you will get it at.  Well I hope this guide was helpful please comment below for any questions or if you enjoyed.  

Here are some shots that are possible using this method.  Notice the silky water.  This only possible using long exposure.










7-1 07:34
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B1houdini
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I am first to say thanks for the Guide. I will add it to my file on helpful tips.
Once again the shots are great. Thanks!
7-1 09:31
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A CW
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That's an awesome guide mate - really comprehensive. I am waiting for polar pro to offer their new exposure range of ND's on Amazon UK (ND 128, 256 and 1000).
7-1 11:57
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3-D
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SB, Thank you very much.  Thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge.  And the photos.  You guys are going to make me a good photographer!
7-1 15:11
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DMX_MT
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Thanks for all this Information ! Really Useful !
7-1 15:34
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BrilhasMuito
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Great shots!
Thanks for the guide!
7-3 19:35
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SparksBird
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Glad you are finding this helpful.  Hope to see your long exposure shots as well.  
7-3 20:43
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Rafi_m
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Thank you so much for the knowledge. just one doubt. for the AC to be stable do you suggest sports mode than tripod mode?
7-3 22:34
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dj_dread
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excellent!
   
7-4 01:45
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SparksBird
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Rafi_m Posted at 2018-7-3 22:34
Thank you so much for the knowledge. just one doubt. for the AC to be stable do you suggest sports mode than tripod mode?

That is correct.   Tripod mode is only good if you are trying to fly slow as it gives you good stable slow speed.  However if just trying to hover sports mode is best and I will explain.

When in sports mode this of course lets you go the fastest but at the same time it also has to be able to react better to stops/turns/wind/ect.  So if say a sudden gust of wind comes being in sports mode it will correct itself the fastest compared to any other mode.  So because of this it is also best to put in sports mode if looking for the most stable hover.  A friend of mine that does time lapses passed this knowledge on to me a while ago.  
7-4 05:20
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Woe
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Congrats on digest
7-4 05:25
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SparksBird
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Woe Posted at 2018-7-4 05:25
Congrats on digest

Thanks buddy
7-4 06:25
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Montfrooij
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Very good info!
7-4 09:30
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SparksBird
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Thank you my friend.  Went back to the truckee river today but no train this time
7-4 13:38
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Rafi_m
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SparksBird Posted at 2018-7-4 05:20
That is correct.   Tripod mode is only good if you are trying to fly slow as it gives you good stable slow speed.  However if just trying to hover sports mode is best and I will explain.

When in sports mode this of course lets you go the fastest but at the same time it also has to be able to react better to stops/turns/wind/ect.  So if say a sudden gust of wind comes being in sports mode it will correct itself the fastest compared to any other mode.  So because of this it is also best to put in sports mode if looking for the most stable hover.  A friend of mine that does time lapses passed this knowledge on to me a while ago.

Thank you so much for your suggestions. I will try this one
7-5 23:07
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Kevin Halle
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Great tutorial. Thank you.
7-9 06:41
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SparksBird
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Kevin Halle Posted at 2018-7-9 06:41
Great tutorial. Thank you.

My pleasure.
7-9 06:51
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lwa11
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very cool. thank you for sharing this information.
7-11 06:21
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John Mclaughlin 7
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i like what you got, nice and clean, good work!
7-12 16:43
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SparksBird
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lwa11 Posted at 2018-7-11 06:21
very cool. thank you for sharing this information.

Thank you for taking a look.  Hope it helps.
7-12 16:45
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SparksBird
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John Mclaughlin 7 Posted at 2018-7-12 16:43
i like what you got, nice and clean, good work!

Thank you very much John.  Hope the guide helps and inspires others to get these long exposure shots.
7-12 16:45
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SparksBird
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Wanted to add some additional long exposure shots I took this last weekend I posted in another thread.








7-12 16:47
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Charissa
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Thanks for the tips, did not know about sport mode and stable hovering. I saw on Freewell website they have a ND 2000 available as well. I often do long exposures with my DSLR, and one of the problems encountered is the loss of detail and blown out whites at times. A fine line between a silky smooth exposure, and too bright whites.
Your first image is perfectly exposed.
Anyone have the ND 2000?
7-12 23:38
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Charissa
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I have to add, it is a lot better with a DSLR, as it can be mounted it on a tripod. With the drone it is, as you say, practice, and a whole lot of luck, weather and wind wise, to get a good exposure.
7-12 23:42
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dronto
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Thank you for very thorough tutorial and sharing
7-13 03:37
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SparksBird
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Charissa Posted at 2018-7-12 23:38
Thanks for the tips, did not know about sport mode and stable hovering. I saw on Freewell website they have a ND 2000 available as well. I often do long exposures with my DSLR, and one of the problems encountered is the loss of detail and blown out whites at times. A fine line between a silky smooth exposure, and too bright whites.
Your first image is perfectly exposed.
Anyone have the ND 2000?

The ND2000 I have only seen Drone Supremecy use it and did a YT tutiroal on it.  They only make it for the MA currently not the MP.  I believe only PolarPro and Freewell make them.  I asked and they said if they get enough interest will make for the MP but figure they will not since the MA is newer.  
7-13 06:46
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SparksBird
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Charissa Posted at 2018-7-12 23:42
I have to add, it is a lot better with a DSLR, as it can be mounted it on a tripod. With the drone it is, as you say, practice, and a whole lot of luck, weather and wind wise, to get a good exposure.

For sure would be better with DSLR since will always be stable.  However can only get certain shots airborne of course.  Is why I do not see how it would be possible for a 4" exposure say using a ND2000 as most certainly there will be some kind of movement.  I figure ND1000 is just great as usually the exposure is 1.4" to 2".
7-13 06:49
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SparksBird
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dronto Posted at 2018-7-13 03:37
Thank you for very thorough tutorial and sharing

Thank you for checking it out
7-13 06:49
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Charissa
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For sure would be better with DSLR since will always be stable.  However can only get certain shots airborne of course.  Is why I do not see how it would be possible for a 4" exposure say using a ND2000 as most certainly there will be some kind of movement.  I figure ND1000 is just great as usually the exposure is 1.4" to 2".

Agree. Was wondering, as i got the Long exposure pack, ND 256, 9 stops, and even in bright South African sunlight conditions, i did not get a tack sharp long exposure with the Mavic Air. Pity i updated the firmware to 0.400 just after receiving the filters, so now i have a MA in the DJI repair shop, and not at home..........
7-13 08:18
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Merced69
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Thank you for another project for me to try, and the great idea of putting it all together.
7-13 08:21
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SparksBird
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Charissa Posted at 2018-7-13 08:18
For sure would be better with DSLR since will always be stable.  However can only get certain shots airborne of course.  Is why I do not see how it would be possible for a 4" exposure say using a ND2000 as most certainly there will be some kind of movement.  I figure ND1000 is just great as usually the exposure is 1.4" to 2".

Agree. Was wondering, as i got the Long exposure pack, ND 256, 9 stops, and even in bright South African sunlight conditions, i did not get a tack sharp long exposure with the Mavic Air. Pity i updated the firmware to 0.400 just after receiving the filters, so now i have a MA in the DJI repair shop, and not at home..........

Oh no sorry to hear what happened to the MA why is it getting repaired?
7-13 08:50
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Charissa
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Was a nippy little bomb of a drone, no problems, and then i "infected" it with the latest firmware...0.400. So far DJI Cape Town can,t fix it, so waiting for it to go to China, and be replaced or fixed.......
7-14 13:24
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SparksBird
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Charissa Posted at 2018-7-14 13:24
Was a nippy little bomb of a drone, no problems, and then i "infected" it with the latest firmware...0.400. So far DJI Cape Town can,t fix it, so waiting for it to go to China, and be replaced or fixed.......

Sorry to hear I hope you get it fixed and are back in the air soon
7-14 18:56
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Dexter.Zed
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wowww very nice shot great job!!!!!!
7-27 17:38
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SparksBird
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Dexter.Zed Posted at 2018-7-27 17:38
wowww very nice shot great job!!!!!!

Thank you very much
7-27 20:29
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donthaveanyidea
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very nice
8-3 06:17
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TimDerLauch
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Thank you for sharing !
8-8 06:38
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