Just a couple of quick tips relating to long exposures….

When using an ND filter, paired with a low ISO value, it’s often difficult to get a meter reading.  A standard solution is to crank up the ISO, take a meter reading, and then count stops back to the desired ISO.  For example, suppose you want to shoot at ISO 100.  Change the ISO temporarily to 6400:  1 second @ ISO 6400 = 2 seconds @ ISO 3200 = 4 seconds @ ISO 1600 = 8 seconds @ ISO 800 = 16 seconds @ ISO 400 = 1/2 minute @ ISO 200 = 1 minute @ ISO 100.

A shortcut I’ve used for a long time is to think of this in a slightly different way.  The time in seconds at ISO 6400 is the same numerical value in minutes at ISO 100.  1 second @ ISO 6400 = 1 minute @ ISO 100.  10 seconds @ ISO 6400 = 10 minutes @ ISO 100.  1/4 second @ ISO 6400 = 1/4 minute @ ISO 100.

Most cameras offer 30 seconds as the longest timed shutter speed.  After that you have to use an intervalometer shutter release such as the Nikon MC-36.  These things have long cords, so how do you keep one from blowing around in any breeze while it’s dangling from your camera running a long timed exposure?  For that matter, what’s a good way to control that cord in a camera bag?  My solution is this:, basically a thin bungee cord and a cord lock.  You can easily make these yourself, but I admit being partial to ThinkTank’s red ones (easier to find when dropped).  Here’s a composited illustration, showing the MC-36 ready to pack, and attached to a tripod leg.

Two uses for ThinkTank’s cable ties.



  1. Diane Miller August 30, 2015 at 8:37 am #

    I got tired of sometimes not having the release when I needed it so I glued a piece of Velcro on a tripod leg and the matching piece on the back of the release. I ran the cable up the leg and taped it it near the top with gaffer’s tape, then draped the remaining length back down and wrapped it around the release, where it’s secured similar to the way you show with the cable tie. The extra bulk of the release on the leg is a small price to pay for always having it when I need it, and I can pop it off the Velcro if I want to detach it or use it without touching the tripod.

  2. Johne3 August 31, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    Very good blog post.Really thank you! Fantastic. geaddekaddee

  3. Ron September 1, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    Another “tie” that would work are the Geartie product sold for use by backpackers. They are re-usable, rubber twist ties of various lengths that can be bought individually, or in assorted packages. I find them useful for attaching all sorts of things to tripods legs, backpacks, etc.