Slow Shutter Techniques

We all know that we can use a Neutral Density (ND) filter to slow down the shutter speeds to get really smooth water when shooting waterfalls, or to smooth out the ripples on the water surface, something like this:-

Singapore Skyline shot through a 10-stop ND filter. The long exposure helps to smooth out the ripply water surface.

During our recent morning shoot, Jed taught us another technique we can use. This involves taking multiple shots of the scene and merging them together. Thankfully this can be done in-camera on my Nikon D200. All’s needed is to go into the menu, enable the Multiple Exposure mode, set Auto Gain to On and set the number of exposures desired. Ten is the maximum we can go. Auto Gain will automatically compensate the exposures for the 10 shots so that it’ll still be correct when merged.

The results are slightly different. The Multiple Exposure method smooths out the water as well, but also retains a bit of the ripples, giving a little more natural look.

Singapore Skyline after sunrise. 10 stacked exposures to smooth out the ripples on the water surface.

For comparison, this is a shot (from another shoot) without any ND filters or Multiple Exposures.

Singapore Skyline without ND filter or multiple exposures.

So the next time you need a slow shutter speed and do not have a ND filter handy, remember this trick.


  1. Hello,

    Could you please tell me where were the above pictures taken from ? (which point)
    I know it’s Singapore, but i’d need a more precise tip.


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