Long Exposure Photography Course
An online long exposure photography course giving you a complete guide to this popular form of photography with post-processing training to make your photography stack up against the best.
This is a high-end, professional course that will take you through everything you need to know about this genre of photography. You’ll learn how to use ND filters to master the visual effects they can create, like making water look like glass and clouds streak in the sky. You’ll also learn how to use long exposures to create stunning night photography and how to make light trails.
Once you’ve learnt how to master the visual effects with your camera, we’ll then teach you how to post-process the shots to ensure you get professional results. We’ll use high-end editing techniques like luminosity masking, HDR blending, and removing objects seamlessly from the scene to ensure you turn your shots from good to great.
The course also comes with PDFs to help reinforce the knowledge learnt whilst you’re out in the field. To make your life easier in post-processing you’ll also get Photoshop actions, RAW files and the final edits created in the course so you can follow along and learn with ease.
This online course is aimed at intermediate photographers who want to take their photography skills to the next level and for people who have tried these techniques but haven’t quite grasped how to get great results from them.
What you will learn
What Long Exposure Photography is and the visual effects it creates
Equipment needed for Long Exposures
Camera settings and techniques
What ND Filters are, what types you can get and how to use them
Using Graduated Filters
How to mix Grad Filters with ND Filters and why you need to
How to correctly expose in fully manual modes
How to use the bulb setting
How to calculate exposure times when using ND Filters
How to bracket shots correctly and why you need to bracket for this type of photography
How to make clouds streak in the sky
How to make water look like glass
How to create great night photography
How to make people disappear and lights bleed into star shapes
How to create light trails at night
Exposure blending using Luminosity Masking
How to seamlessly remove objects from your scene
How to add detail into burnt-out areas of your picture
How to edit professionally in Lightroom
Specific editing techniques for colour and black and white pictures
How to blend exposures using HDR
How to balance the exposure of high contrast scenes
Advanced editing techniques in Photoshop and Lightroom to create high-end, professional-looking shots
Who is this course for?
Intermediate photographers looking to progress their skills and master this type of photography.
Photographers who have tried this type of photography but are struggling to master it.
Photographers wanting to take high-end, professional-looking landscape photographs.
Photographers looking to learn how to create great night and light trail photography.
“Just finished the Long Exposure Photography Course - well worth the money! I was not expecting this course to be as big as it was - so much in it and so easy to follow. Thanks Marc” – Gordon Dixon - UK
Lesson 1 - Introduction to Long Exposure Photography
Here we introduce the course, tell you what you will learn and view the visual effects that can be created in this field of photography.
Lesson 2 - Equipment
To create long exposure effects, you will need specific equipment. Here we’ll look at what gear will get the job done from a low to high budget and break down the minefield of what ND filters are, what they do, what strengths of NDs should you use, what graduated ND filters are, what effects they create and so on. I’ll also teach you how to work out exposure times correctly and introduce our exposure calculator.
Lesson 3 – Camera Settings and Techniques
There are general settings and techniques commonly used in this type of photography. In this lesson, I’ll show you techniques to help you get the most out of any situation and teach you how to bracket shots and why this is essential. You’ll learn what camera settings are best, how to take meter readings and expose correctly in fully manual modes, and how and when to use your bulb setting. Then you’ll get practicing in these settings to make sure you fully understand them before we go out and take some pictures.
Lesson 4 – Making Clouds Streak in the Sky
Here we’ll go outside and put these techniques into practice. This is a great starting point for long exposure photography; it gets you used to using filters, exposing manually, using the bulb setting on your camera, and all you need is a building with some clouds in the sky!
Lesson 5 – Making Clouds Streak in the Sky - Edit
Taking good shots is the first part – Editing them is what makes them great! It’s important to realise that there are two parts to photography. Being skilled in both will ensure you’ll be consistent in creating great images.
In this edit, I’ll use Lightroom to teach you how to create striking black and white shots, enhance the contrast and balance the exposure of the two buildings with Auto Masking. I’ll then extend this edit further and teach you some advanced Photoshop techniques to add more clouds to the top left of the image. You’ll also have the Raw files taken on the shoot so you can work along with me and put all this into practice.
Lesson 6 – Long Exposure Seascapes
This is a common technique and can create some excellent visual effects. In this scenario, we’re outside again and I’ll teach you how to use ND filters to make water look smooth. You’ll learn how to use graduated filters together with ND filters and how to use the camera’s light meter to determine the correct grad filter to use.
Lesson 7 – Long Exposure Seascapes - Edit
In this edit, we’ll transform our bracketed shots to give more detail in the highlights, shadows & midtones. You’ll start by doing general edits in Lightroom then we’ll move into Photoshop where I’ll teach you an advanced blending technique commonly known as luminosity masking. I’ll also teach you how to seamlessly remove objects from the picture and put colour back into the burnt-out areas of the scene. Again, you are provided with the Raw files so you can work along and learn with me and Photoshop actions to speed up your post-processing.
Lesson 8 – HDR Edit
In this scenario, we’ll use the same technique as in the seascape one but this time I’ll teach you how to take a set of bracketed shots and blend them together using a technique called HDR merging. This is a great way of increasing the tones and colours across an image in a very easy way.
You’ll then learn how to easily remove objects from the water and tackle some more challenging removals that involve objects protruding above the horizon line. Raw files are provided so you can work along with me.
Lesson 9 – London at night
In this scenario, I’ll take you one of the busiest places in London to use long exposures for night photography. I’ll teach you how to make people disappear and how to make the night lights bleed into star shapes. You’ll also learn how to make the river look like glass to enhance the beautiful reflections a city at night produces.
Lesson 10 – London at night - Edit
In this edit, I’ll teach you how to enhance night photography in Lightroom. We’ll change the shot black and white, enhance contrast, darken highlights, balance the exposure of the scene with range masking, and add split toning. We’ll then go into Photoshop to remove people from the pathway. Again, the Raw files are provided so you can work along and learn with me.
Lesson 11 – Light Trail Photography
In this scenario, I’ll take you to the iconic Tower Bridge and teach you how to make vehicles streak through the frame. There is no one-setting-fits-all for light trails as the effect depends on how fast the vehicles are going and the available light you have; this is what makes this a great technique for challenging your photography skills. So here you’ll push your knowledge and learn how to change camera settings and balance exposures to control the visual effect that you want.
Lesson 12 – Light Trail Photography – Edit
In this edit, I’ll teach you how to enhance the colours and contrast of night scenes, remove people and objects that get in your way and we’ll look at bringing through a bus travelling in the other direction using layer masks in Photoshop. The Raw files are provided so you can work along with me.
Lesson 13 – More long exposure scenarios for Black and White Editing
Each situation will require different techniques in shooting and editing and it’s important that you can adapt your photography as required. In this lesson, we’ll look at how to adapt your shooting for different scenarios and look at different editing techniques specifically for black and white shots.
Lesson 14 – More long exposure scenarios for Colour Editing
As in lesson 13, here I’ll show you how I adapted my shooting techniques for different scenarios and this time we’ll look at specific editing techniques for colour images.
Lesson 15 – End and Recap
An end to the course. Here we will recap on all of the great knowledge you’ve acquired and how you can take these skills even further.
Pictures taken and taught on the course
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The PDFs in all options can be downloaded.
What camera equipment do I need?
You will need a DSLR or mirrorless camera, a tripod and some ND filters. To get you started, a 6 and 10 stop ND filter will be fine and these can be purchased from £15. For more information on ND filters, click here.
What computer programs do I need?
For the post-processing part of the course, we use Lightroom and Photoshop and it’s recommended you use these if you want to follow along with the lessons. However, if you are competent in another program you can simply use the skills shown and apply them in that program.
What level do I need to be at?
This course is recommended for the intermediate photographer looking to explore this genre of photography. If you’re a beginner, you can get this course with our Complete Guide to Photography for 30% off. Click here to get that offer.
What’s the difference between ‘Stream and Download’ and ‘Stream Only’?
Stream Only - The Stream Only option is a one-off payment that allows you to watch the videos as many times as you want for a period of 6 months.
Stream and Download - This option gives you 12 months access to watch the videos online and allows you to download them to keep forever.
What’s the cost in my own currency?
The courses are priced in British Pounds and US Dollars. On checkout it will show the cost in British Pounds and will be converted into your currency when purchased. To get an accurate cost in your own currency click here to use a Currency Converter. NB. US dollars quoted are as close as possible and updated on a monthly basis.
Do I get a certificate with this course?
Yes - On completion of all our all courses, you receive a certificate from The School of Photography.
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