Essential Equipment

Before getting started, you will need to have some equipment prepared...

Long exposure photography requires a specific set of features and accessories. To achieve the effects covered in this guide, here is what you will need (plus some tips from Paul on his favorite equipment for the job).

A camera with manual settings

Most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras offer manual settings (where you are able to control shutter speed, aperture and ISO), but we recommend an XF IQ4 Camera System or an IQ4 Digital Back on a technical camera solution.

Sturdy Tripod

You will need a sturdy tripod that can not only hold the weight of your camera, lens and filters, but can also withstand wind and other sources of vibration. If you are traveling a lot, weight and packed size is also a consideration. Paul uses the Rollei Lion Rock Mk II 25 and 30 tripods because of their durability and lightweight, small pack-size.

Neutral Density Filter Set & Holder

A set of filters is an essential part of successful long exposure photography - and it is also a very personal choice. Watch the video below to hear Paul talk about filter choice and a good base set of filters to start with.

Remote Shutter

A remote shutter is necessary if you will be using Bulb mode on your camera. On the XF Camera System, a remote shutter is not necessary thanks to vibration control tools, Capture Pilot app, and exposures of up to 60 minutes.

(Optional) Light Source

Although we will not cover light painting in this guide, if you are interested in creative light painting or using light to brighten elements of a darkened foreground, you will need a portable light source such as a variable brightness flashlight.

Pro Tip: Choosing Filters

Watch the video to hear Paul's pro tips on choosing filters that are right for you

Silky water and cloud movement