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What’s up, photo homies? (Phomies) What happens if you’d like to shoot some nice long exposures but either the light is too bright or you don’t have any filters? Well using the, ahem, “Cripps Method” 🙂 you can double, triple, or even 10-tuple your shutter speed without blowing out your image.
First, make sure you’re using a remote, get your camera on a tripod, and set the shooting mode to Continuous High. Then, in your Camera menu, head down to Multiple Exposure. For the Nikon shooters select Single Photo, Auto Gain On. For the Canon photographers use “Average” mode. Then crank the number of shots crank up as high as you can, mosh down on your remote, and let the camera do its thang!
During any long exposure you can think of the camera as taking an average of all the things going on in the scene during the exposure. This is why oceans, for example, look like mist in a long exposure: because the waves are moving and crashing everywhere and the camera is averaging all that out.
Well when you select the Auto Gain/Average function in the multiple exposure mode your camera is creating an average of all the photos you take, so it’s basically like creating a long exposure from a bunch of shorter ones. In other words, a single 20 second exposure looks exactly the same as 10 2-second exposures smashed together in camera.
Which means that if the longest shutter speed you can get to is 1/6 second, but you can take 6 shots in multiple exposure mode, well then you actually got yourself a 1 second equivalent shot. Or say you’re shooting something like a D810 that can take 10 ME shots. If you can get your shutter to 3 seconds but any brighter will blow the photo out, then in ME mode you can actually create a 30-second equivalent exposure.And this technique is infinitely expandable so if you can shoot a 30-second shot normally then in Multiple Exposure mode you can create a minutes-long photo. How friggin cool is that!??
And a word to the wise if you’re shooting something like clouds, make sure to turn of Long Exposure Noise Reduction, otherwise you’ll end up with gaps in the final image.
And there you have it; a quick and easy hack to open up your creative possibilities.
Got another question? Check out our Landscape Photography FAQ here: