A Daytime Long Exposure

I wanted to get a sense of the flow of tourists in Oxford last summer. So how to do it ? Mount my camera to a tripod and use fast shutter speeds to try and blur motion ? No. I reached for a 10 stop ND filter and picked a spot where I knew I could set up my camera far enough away to not get in the way but close enough to capture the flow I wanted. It took some experimentation (liveview is good for working out exposures sometimes when long shutter speeds are involved), but I settled on a 20 second exposure at f/16. It took several minutes to get the shot I’m most happy with.

Oxford Daytime Long Exposures 4

It was taken on one of the side streets to the St Mary the Virgin Church, which is a popular destination for tourists. Mostly due to the views the tall tower of the Church allows. I settled on the side street that has the Old Bank Hotel in view alongside the Traffic lights as this is always a busy spot. Set up my tripod, focused, screwed on the filter, plugged in my shutter release cable and then hoped for the best. This was the first time I’d used my 10 Stop ND filter on a bright sunny day away from fast flowing water. I was hoping a few tourists would stand around trying to figure out where they needed to go, while others walked past. Usually a mixture of locals going about their daily business and tourists in search of Colleges further up the High Street.

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