Five Long Exposure landscape Photography Tips

If you want to delve into the world of long exposure photography there are a few things to know, read on to find out more!

Amnesia I

Amnesia I

1. Get your camera out of your hands and onto a tripod, not just any tripod either. Using a cheap flimsy tripod is a recipe for camera shake, the shutter of the camera can be enough to cause a vibration in a flimsy tripod. Although they aren’t cheap do yourself a favour and invest once in a sturdy tripod such as those by Manfrotto and Gitzo.

2. ISO, the way to go. So we are about to photograph using low light levels, first things first turn your ISO up, right? WRONG. Digital sensor noise becomes particularly bad during long exposures and the best way to avoid such noise is to shoot with a low ISO. For most circumstances my camera performs best set to 100 ISO so I try to leave it there. Simply lower the shutter speed to obtain a correct exposure, after all, with a good tripod you camera isn’t moving anywhere.

3. ND is for me. The neutral density filter can be used to great effect in landscape photography. Sometimes you are shooting on your lowest ISO and smallest aperture yet you still desire a slower shutter speed. This is where the humble ND filter steps in. Available in a variety of strengths I recommend picking up a couple and having a play with slowing your shutter speeds even further.

4. Film is great for long exposure photography as it doesn’t build the noise that digital sensors do, if shooting film however you must be aware of a trait known as reciprocity failure. Essentially it is a phenomenon whereby films sensitivity to light changes with exposure time. The easiest option for dealing with this is to find a “reciprocity chart” for the specific film you are using and refer to this when calculating exposure times.

5. Carry a torch! Often when shooting long exposure photos it will be dark or getting dark, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten a torch and had to fumble around as darkness fell. A torch is so handy to keep in your bag for such occasions.


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Advertising Photography

So I decided to post a lighting diagram of a photograph I took a while back for my advertising portfolio. When lighting shiny objects such as cars what you really see is the reflection of the light source in the surface of the object, thus for this image most of the light is coming from behind/above from soft light sources in order to reflect the light towards the camera. The passenger was lit with a softbox from the from front left and the trees with a strobe placed on the ground behind the car.

Sortly after the shoot the talent who was clearly agitated from my constant direction “thats it, work it, work it, a little more, gimme blue steel, no too much too much decided to lob the mcdonalds cola at my face. Narrowly missing me it connected nicely with my trusty assistant who happened to be handling a gererator at the time. RIP fry, if you are reading from up obove take note of your new nickname*

*Events may not have happened

Shot at 1/125 sec @ f8

creative advertising photographer sydneysoftbox photographic lighting tutorial


Recommended Sydney Wedding Photographers

Hi guys, thanks for stopping by my site. It’s fair to say that you’re probably here because you’re looking for an amazing wedding photographer. A wedding photographer complete with incomprehensible skills, an alluring beard and the ability to make you look 13.8 years younger. I used to be that guy. Ok, perhaps I didn’t possess all those abilities, I was however a wedding photographer and a bunch of people even enjoyed my work enough to fork over their hard earned dollars for my button pushin’ skills. Unfortunately the time in my career has come whereby I’m leaving wedding photography in order to focus (bad pun) on my landscape photography. Shooting landscapes drew me to photography in the first place, yet I have slowly drifted away from them as I got caught up with weddings, commercial work and everything else I’ve done over the years. It’s certainly a tough road making a living selling landscape photography, it is a road however that I must go down.

Alas! Your visit to my wedding photography site is not in vain! I have compiled a list of Sydney wedding photographers that I recommend checking out. Most of them shoot weddings in Sydney, throughout Australia and internationally so please get in touch with them regardless of where your wedding is. The list is in no particular order. Some of the photographers shoot in a style similar to myself, some are completely different. I encourage you to take the time to check out all the photographers and hope that somewhere within this list you find a wedding photographer that ticks all your boxes. Whilst I’m sure most of them won’t have a beard anywhere near as alluring as mine they all know their way around a camera!

And now to the list. Again, it’s in no particular order, there are some amazing wedding photographers lower in the list so please take the time to check them all out! Best of luck. Samuel.

Rachael Muller

Jack Chauvel

Michael Ralph
I Love Wednesdays
Robert Meredith
Olga Kowalski

Vincent Lai

Eclektic Photography
Firefly Images
Grant Davenport

Alma Photography

Jo Bartholomew
Candice Campbell Photography
Fiona And Bobby
James Frost
Lara Hotz
Photography By Marko
Matthew Mead
Lumsdaine Photography

Sarah Story


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Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Well, 2012 has been a rather fierce year, between the death of my mum and my own health issues I have been forced to step back and reassess the direction my career is heading in. When I first fell in love with photography 10+ years ago I was drawn to shooting landscapes, this quickly became a passion and I set my focus (pun intended) on being the best landscape photographer I could. Over the years I have done quite well, receiving numerous awards for my landscape work and generally achieving what I set out to. As the years passed however my attention wained and I set about expanding my skill set and trying my hand at various other genre’s of photography.

The obvious transition from landscape photography was architecture, a few nice contracts later and I was drifting towards the world of commercial and advertising photography. Again, my work was well received and along the way I managed to score myself runner up emerging advertising photographer of the year, which was pretty cool (even though I live in the secret disappointment of being second best). As you may well have figured out I soon grew weary of the commercial world and decided to give wedding photography a shot (damn pun’s just keep popping up).

I never really set out to be a wedding photographer, but as it turns out I could find my way around a wedding with a camera and I even enjoyed it for a while. Along the way however I have lost sight of why I love photography and what drives me to keep going as a photographer. The past year has presented a great opportunity to look back on my career, where it started and where I would like to head. Although somewhat agonising when couples keep wanting to book me I have come to the conclusion weddings no longer have a place in my future, as such I am no longer taking any further wedding bookings.

Thanks to all the clients I have had along the way, I have learnt so much from all the genres of photography I have worked across, but for now, I must focus on why I fell in love with photography. I will be concentrating on my landscape photography for sale and my business Booth Boy which offers photo booth hire Hunter Valley.


Cathy - Hi Samuel,

Sorry that I haven’t read your blogs before I sent the 2 emails to you to enquire about wedding day photography. Now I know that wedding is no longer on your plate…… i’m so sorry to hear that your mum has passed away.

I would like to say that your wedding photos are all so amazing and beautiful. They feel so real, it’s like showing me the wedding I have ever dreamt of.

Anyway, wish you all the best and please keep upload your landscape work to share with us.

Cheers from Hong Kong,
Cathy 🙂

Mum : 1951 – 2012

DEEP BREATH… Here begins what I can only imagine is to be the most personal blog post I am ever likely to make. I’ve always wanted to start adding some more personal content to my website, to speak of what I am doing, provide insight into who I am, to allow clients and anyone who is interested to gain just a little understanding of my approach towards life. I have always wanted to, but never really gotten around to it. Perhaps it is self righteous to feel anyone may be interested, on the other hand I feel such an important element of photography comes from personal connection. When I feel a personal connection with clients my job is practically done for me, we all drop our guard and the process of capturing someone’s essence, for lack of a better word becomes a mere act of pushing a button.

With that being said I never thought I would see the day I was laying in bed typing this post. What is to follow is really just a cathartic exercise for me, a chance to purge mentally and physically. Physically through the form of tears, shaking and the urge to vomit as I revisit delicate emotions my mind and body has dealt with through the numbing of all emotions, good, bad or otherwise.

In recent times my beautiful mother was taken from me at the all too young age of 60. I speak of the loss that I feel, yet at the same time I feel incredibly sad that she is no longer able to experience the gamut of offerings life may have presented. More of the travel that she loved? Seeing her son get married? Perhaps even becoming a Grandmother? Who knows what the future could have held, whatever it may have been there will always be a void I feel in knowing such experiences are not entirely complete without my mother experiencing them alongside me. But I guess that is the cycle of life, right?

For the past few months of my mothers life she existed almost entirely in a state of hospitalisation as her kidney’s, liver and pancreas went into failure. It is truly horrendous having to watch someone you care so deeply about go through such an awful physical experience. I can only imagine how tough it must have been for her mentally, yet at the same time my mother is the strongest person I have ever known. Physically, by the time of her death her body was bruised and battered from head to toe, her arms purple from the many cannula’s doctors struggled to insert into her tiny and thus difficult veins. Her neck skewed by a cumbersome dialysis catheter and her stomach swollen from fluid buildup which needed constant draining via taps. What was even harder was to see was episodes of confusion and altered consciousness as toxins circulated to her brain. As my protector, my rock, the one person who I knew would always be there for me, without judgement and without question it is a shocking role reversal to see this person become vulnerable and fragile.

For the five years prior to her death my mother went through one hell of a time with illness, on many occasions doctors warned us she may not be walking out of the hospital, yet each time she bounced back and surprised staff with her will and strength. Lymphoma and bowel cancer, fungal pneumonia, golden staph, each nearly taking her life.

The last 3 weeks of my mothers life were spent in intensive care at RPA. She was number one on the transplantation recipient list in NSW, awaiting a donor organ which specialists believed would save her life. This 3 week period was the longest of my life, an emotional roller coaster each time the phone rang… could this be the call we are all waiting for? Has a donor organ become available? It was an odd time, wishing, wanting, hoping an organ would become available, yet at the same time knowing this would mean another person had died and another family was experiencing the turmoil we were. A donor was never found. At 5:07 on a monday evening my mothers heart slowed to it’s last beat. I never really got to say goodbye as she had unexpectedly and quickly slipped into unconsciousness earlier that day.

It’s kind of funny I guess, given the fact that I am a photographer, but I have very few photos of my mum and I, I really wish I had more, but at the same time the couple I have I value so deeply.

Anyway, here are a few photos that work to tell the story of the strongest, most supportive, most loving, clever, honest, down to earth and genuine person I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I am truly honoured to be a part of this woman and to have been raised the way I was. My father died when I was five, I’m an only child, we lived a modest life yet we had something amazing. We had each other.

This is my mother. Her name is Deborah.

I would do anything to spend just one more minute with her.



James - Sam,

Not much I can say, sorry for your loss.


Lee M - Sam, that was a really touching read. It is so sad that your mother was taken from this world so young. She was a great women who had a heart of gold and I know that she will always be looking over you.

Luke A - Hi Sam,

Wow, I am lost for words. What a gift your Mum has given this earth, the gift of You. You are a special person Sam and your Mum must have had all of the qualities you have described and more to raise such a remarkable young man.

Thank you for sharing, if only we shared this openly more often. Your insight, compassion and love comes through in your words.

All the best,


Steve McCormack - Your Mum is still alive Sam, in your memories now, and thanks for sharing, I can now see a deeper side of you and a connection beyond…

Julie Jardine - Sam how brave – I can’t see through my glasses to read your words. So touching – you made your mum’s life joyful. Love Julie Jardine

Wedding Photography Sydney | Helena + Chris


Cathy - I love all of the little details that you capture — the cat, the spider, the sailboat… – these all add to the tone and setting of the day. Well done!

Monika - Gorgeous series of images, you work is truly amazing

Sarah Harvey - These pictures are incredible Sam, You have done an amazing job.

Grant - Top shots mate, killed it!

Nerida - What a stunning wedding! Love the padlock on the harbour bridge. Well captured.

megan noonan - These are amazingly beautiful!

Wedding Photography Sydney | Charmion + Michael

Ok… so I fell in love at this wedding… with a gorgeous bull terrier by the name of Daisy. Oh, and the bride and groom were pretty cool too…



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