View Full Version : Killing time during long exposures

Ed Richards
20-Dec-2010, 21:20
Spent some time calibrating tmy-2 for long exposures today. I will post what I found when I get the negatives dry and on the light table tomorrow. What I suddenly became curious about is that you do while waiting on a long exposure, say 20 minutes to an hour or more. Not in the sticks at night, where can sleep or watch for bears, but in a place where you have to stay with and watch the camera. Folding chair and a novel?

Jim Galli
20-Dec-2010, 21:31
One night I set up a shot that I calculated to 9 minutes. It was sub freezing temp and the tripod was in the bed of the pickup. If I sit in the car I'm going to rattle the exposure. Brrrrrrrrr. Shiver is what you do while walking madly in circles. Worth it though, that shot was a keeper.

'Nuther time I had one that was going to take 45 minutes. I had the Model A handy so while the camera was doing it's thing, I went to Mickie D's for a burger and some fries.

Ed Richards
20-Dec-2010, 21:39
That is why I got the really dark ND filters. I want to do my long exposures in the warm sun.:-)

David R Munson
20-Dec-2010, 21:42
The iPod is a wonderful thing for long exposures. Also, good books, notebooks, fountain pens, and naps.

David Swinnard
20-Dec-2010, 21:56
Uhh? Fountain pens?

matthew klos
20-Dec-2010, 22:42
this may seem like a dumb question, but due to reciprocity how do you guys calculate such long exposures? i have never really done anything longer than say a few seconds.

Keith Pitman
20-Dec-2010, 22:48
I remember one particularly long exposure in a damp 1840's fort in Maine in winter. I froze.

David R Munson
20-Dec-2010, 23:28
Uhh? Fountain pens?
When combined with something to write on. If you enjoy writing, of course. Sketchbooks are also nice for making the most of downtime.

21-Dec-2010, 00:43
Angry Birds...iphone....job done.

Eric James
21-Dec-2010, 02:34
Angry Birds...iphone....job done.

Will all due respect, sir, I have to disagree - your plan will likely result in gross over exposure :D

21-Dec-2010, 03:32
I remember taking some shots for a project of, erm… naturally mummified bodies - a grim environment in very dim light… Exposure times about 45 minutes (each…). The oddest thing was the guides bringing in every half an hour or so a group of tourists - those guides were some 18-year old girl students all nicely dressed up, with flowers in their hairs etc… So the natural thing was to have long chats with them in between :D

21-Dec-2010, 05:55
This is one situation in which it's good to be a smoker. I used to measure pinhole exposures in fractions of a cigarette. Your exposure sounds more like a cigar situation, though.

Frank Petronio
21-Dec-2010, 07:02

Jim Galli
21-Dec-2010, 07:07
this may seem like a dumb question, but due to reciprocity how do you guys calculate such long exposures? i have never really done anything longer than say a few seconds.

Steve Simmons book included a very nice "cheat sheet" that he even had permission to copy in his Book. I copied and reduced to about the size of a wallet photo and always kept in my wallet. Very handy. It had most of the different film brands and times. Black and white film is pretty forgiving at those times in any case.

Jim Fitzgerald
21-Dec-2010, 09:24
I'm always shooting long exposures! Last trip to the Redwoods they were 10 and 25 minutes on average. I bring a folding camp stool and watch the magic happen while sitting next to my camera. Then again I did have the 8x20 and 11x14 going at the same time so no rest on that one! Boy that was fun. So to answer your question have 2-3 large cameras going at the same time.


Bob McCarthy
21-Dec-2010, 09:31
The iPhone is the ultimate.

"Clock" has a countdown timer

"Viewfinder Pro" to make lens angle of view selection when gg is so dark.

For iPhone 4 users, the app "Flashlight" to see things dropped in the dark

and Angry Birds to kill time.


Brian C. Miller
21-Dec-2010, 12:39
this may seem like a dumb question, but due to reciprocity how do you guys calculate such long exposures?

I copy it from the film data sheet. They all have reciprocity information.

21-Dec-2010, 12:57
I've so far refused to buy Angry Birds.... that said, there are equally addictive games on my ipad.

When shooting in abandoned buildings, I just kept watch on the time, up to 10 minutes, potentially taking a stroll, it's good to have someone else along though - that's how I coped before.

Music is great, too

21-Dec-2010, 16:23
... how do you guys calculate such long exposures? ... At near the bottom of this long web page: www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm there is a very inclusive list of exposures related to the sunny sixteen rule, from extremely bright light to starlit night shots without streetlights or moonlight. It is a rough guideline, but far better than none.

Andrew O'Neill
21-Dec-2010, 17:15
Once I had a lass with me that helped pass the time, but I just couldn't concentrate on picture taking whenever she was with me...
Late one afternoon during a 4hr exposure in an abandoned mining building (in Japan), I left my camera for a nearby Starbucks.
The last long exposure (25min) I took a few months ago inside a hydro dam (not used anymore and used as a museum now), I wandered around during the exposure looking for other comps.

John NYC
21-Dec-2010, 17:41
I love my time waiting around for the exposure to finish. Sometimes when I am with people, as I am in my roof project often, its a time to just visit. When I am alone, I like to sit there and look out at the view, contemplate other shots for the future, etc. I rarely occupy myself with anything other than thinking. It's a nice quiet time, with no other duties or distractions, for your mind to settle down and focus on nothing.

22-Dec-2010, 11:21
Target practice with the 45 mag.

Helps keep the bears away.

Bob G.

22-Dec-2010, 11:46
Lovely photograph Bob.

24-Dec-2010, 13:35
In this abandoned building I was shooting in Detroit I spent my time walking between a hallway and a window (16 minutes exposure) keeping an eye out for the police or other urban dwellers who might frown on my being there.

24-Dec-2010, 20:36
Angry Birds????