I'm new to photography. I am trying to take a long exposure image of this nice water fountain with a Canon T5i.

enter image description here

How can I improve it?

closed as too broad by Matt Grum, AJ Henderson, TFuto, dpollitt, mattdm Oct 15 '14 at 10:43

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    What do you see in your mind's eye when wanting to capture that as a long exposure? – user13451 Oct 14 '14 at 3:37
  • Welcome to Stack Exchange! Please take a look at meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4512/… and edit your question accordingly. We love questions like this but need more specifics! – mattdm Oct 14 '14 at 10:28
  • Alternately, if you want a critique (which is really what this question currently is) then try hoping in the Photography Chat once you have enough reputation to do so. – AJ Henderson Oct 14 '14 at 15:32
  • @AJHenderson the 38 rep on codereview the OP has is sufficient to access chat anywhere on the network, including photography. – user13451 Oct 14 '14 at 16:57
  • @MichaelT - ah, excellent, figures the one time I don't bother checking if they have enough elsewhere, they would have it. – AJ Henderson Oct 14 '14 at 17:01

Wait until the light is more favorable. This would probably be a time when the sky is not overcast and the sun is behind you, such as in the hour after sunrise or the hour before sunset. With proper exposure, this will allow the sky to appear blue instead of white.


"What to improve" is a very subjective question. with that in mind:

one of my main dislikes about this exposure is the "burned" sky due to the long exposure. As your sky is somewhat similar in color to the fountain water, it reduces the emphasis from it.

As you are probably using a tripod, I would attempt to capture a HDR (high dynamic range) image to get a bluer tone to the sky. another solution which I personally have less experience with but should work as well is using an ND filter. Another solution is to look for a better composition: look for a different background.


To add to the other more technical points, I'd suggest changing the composition slightly. At the moment you have a lot of 'just' water in the bottom right. Moving the fountain down and right in the image would show more of the river (lake?) disappearing into the distance.

As a general rule of thumb, putting the main subject of an image in the centre of the frame doesn't give the best photo (exceptions obviously do exist).


Two things need to happen in order to get a good "long exposure" photograph.

  1. Extended shutter
  2. Steady camera

The shutter speed you used works for this scene, but the camera isn't steady enough. To eliminate the movement your body imparts on the camera, use a tripod, or set the camera down on a wall or other stable surface. It is also good practice to use a shutter timer so that once you push the button to take the picture, any slight vibrations you imparted to the camera will have time to dampen before the picture is taken.

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