Athena Carey is an award winning fine art travel photographer specializing in long exposure and black and white photography. She is widely recognized for her ability to capture the emotional essence of place and time within her images.
My goal for these images was to capture the calm and serenity of early morning by Lake Geneva. For me, this is a place that resets the chaos in my life. I walk away from here feeling balanced and ready to face the world.
Here are some tips from Athena on capturing images with long exposure:
- Equipment: I needed a wide-angle lens in order to achieve these compositions as well as a sturdy tripod for the long shutter speeds.
- Filters: I used ND filters for these photos in order to lengthen the exposure time enough to smooth out the movement of the water.
- Long Exposure Noise: I rarely have noise problems that cannot be fixed later in post processing, so I do not leave the camera’s long exposure noise reduction turned on. I use Photoshop and NIK software to fix the noise problems.
- Wind: Wind can be a problem for long exposure photography. On very windy days, I use my largest tripod. I try to keep it low and, if needed, I attach my bag to the tripod for added stability.
- Exposure: Typically, I always shoot at F11. I actually joke about needing a T-shirt that says F11. It’s definitely my preferred aperture. On occasions, if the situation warrants, I may stop down more. For example, I would shoot with a smaller aperture for starbursts or if I am photographing without the right ND filter to get the correct exposure length.
- Time of Day: I needed to be out by the lake very early in the morning to capture both of these images. Early morning is the best time to avoid having people in your images, as most sane people are still tucked up in their warm beds.
- Clothing: Weather in the morning can be very cold. A warm jacket and a thermos of coffee are also advised.
Athena Carey’s typical workflow consists of shooting all image in RAW mode. She then uses Photoshop and NIK software to convert her images to black and white.
Aside from travel, another of Athena’s great joys is teaching others the technical aspects of photography and how to find their own artistic vision. She then guides her students to harness these together to express themselves through their photography. To this end, she teaches photo courses online and locally and offers workshops globally.