The Blur Method: Slow Your Shutter

Whether you're capturing running water, stilling seas, or abstracting patterns long exposures provide a perfect strategy for visually conveying the energy of nature

Autumn Maples, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Canon EOS 5D Mark II with 70–200mm f/4L Canon EF lens panned vertically during a 1-sec exposure at f/18, ISO 800.

Tree in Wet Sand, Hunting Island State Park, SC

Bernabe used a 5-stop neutral-density filter on his 24–105mm f/4L Canon EF IS zoom to enable a 30-sec exposure, rendering sky and sea a smooth palette of pastels. The effect concentrates the viewer’s eye on the tree. He shot with a Canon EOS Mark II at f/18 at ISO 100.

Snow Geese, Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, NC

Panned with an EOS 5D Mark II and 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L Canon EF IS lens, exposure 1/20 sec at f/11, ISO 50.

Clouds and Fog at Twilight, Clingmans Dome, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bernabe again employed an ND filter, here a 3-stop version, to allow an extra-long exposure. He used a 70–200mm f/2.8L Canon EF IS lens on his Canon EOS 5D Mark II to make the image at 20 sec and f/20, ISO 50.

Porter’s Creek, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bernabe used a polarizing filter on a 16–35mm f/2.8L Canon EF lens to cut reflections in the water. Exposure in a Canon EOS 5D Mark III: 3.2 sec at f/18, ISO 100.