If you go out into the woods or even to a beach you can get shots like this almost every time.
This was shot on a cloudy day deep inside a forest. If you aren’t ready for an opportunity then you will never get the shot. The secret for this type of shot is very slow exposures. That’s why I take a light weight tripod with me.
You can even take one of those mini tripods so that you are covered in a pinch. I prefer a medium tripod for traveling light but it still has some build and weight. I like this because I don’t end up with all extremely low shots (which looks great in some situations) and the extra weight holds the camera steady.
Take several minutes to find a great composition and solid ground so that your tripod is rock solid. Set your camera at the highest aperture (F16 or F22) and set the camera on a 2 second timer (now you know why this is and option on your camera). Also make sure you set your ISO to the lowest setting.(my camera only goes down to ISO 200 but a lot of cameras can go down as low as 80) Carefully press the shutter release and do not move. If you walk away you will shake the ground and blurred the image.
With your camera at these setting you will get a 1 to 5 second exposure depending on where you are. If you are in the open it’s best to weight till later in the day and the light starts to dime a bit. If you want to really do this technique a lot you can also get neutral density filters (kind of like sunglasses filters) to reduce the light going into your lens.
TIP: If you want your tripod to be even more solid bring a small bag with draw strings (this only works with bigger tripods and not mint tripods). Fill it will rocks and hang it on your tripod so that the rocks stabilize the tripod. (make sure the bag is not swinging when releasing the shutter of course)
Next Week: The 5 secrets of great composition and why you need to know them.