Long exposure ND Filter

I had been wanting to take some more long exposure pictures in the daytime and knew that  I would need a stronger neutral density (nd) filter to stop the exposure from being blown out. In the past I had used an 8 stop filter to capture water and this had been good for places where there was not much light however I knew the beach in the sunshine would pose more challenges.

below are 2 of the images I took using a an 8 stop screw on nd filter.



If you have not heard of a neutral density filter or are unsure of their function, these filters can be attached to a lens and allow longer shutter speeds to be used in the daylight.

I found a really interesting article from Digital Photography School which explains how to use a 10 stop neutral density (ND) filter to create a dramatic look to a photograph. —– click for the article here

In 2014 I took a family holiday to Newquay in Cornwall UK and had the opportunity to try out a (screw on type) 10stop neutral density filter when we went to Fistral Beach.


  1. Nikon d90 dslr
  2. 18-55mm lens
  3. Manfrotto Tripod
  4. Remote Release cable
  5. 10 stop neutral density filter (screw type)



The image below shows the waves that were present on that day at Fistral

fistral beach newquay cornwall "long exposure"
f13 – S1/250 – ISO350

I used an app on my mobile phone called ‘ND filter calc’ which allowed me to put in the camera settings I used for the picture above to tell me what I could use with a 10 stop filter

The app calculated that I was able to use the following settings:

  • f16
  • s30 seconds
  • ISO 100

With a few tweaks for the different angles I was able to remove the waves and show a mist which was created by the exposure time and made the waves look creamy.

The challenges I found came with attaching the filter and maintaining a sturdy base for my tripod when positioned in the water as the waves kept making the tripod sink.

Below are some of the images that I managed to get with the 10 stop filter

fistral beach newquay "long exposure" photography

nikon "long exposure" photography tripod

fistral beach newquay "long exposure" photography

What are peoples thoughts on the 10 stop ND filter and is there a recommended brand?


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Love these pictures by Cherry

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