Slow ev­ery­thing down with a strong ND fil­ter

Long ex­po­sures cap­ture move­ment in a very dif­fer­ent way

NPhoto - - Nikopedia -

Very long ex­po­sures are just as pho­to­graphic a way of treat­ing move­ment as the frozen mo­ment, and they also show us a world that we can never see with

our eyes alone. Rolling waves, such as those pic­tured here on the south coast of Mau­ri­tius, be­come more like a low, ground-hug­ging fog.

The is­sue here is the sen­si­tiv­ity of the cam­era’s sen­sor to light, but not in the way you may think. Sen­si­tiv­ity is usu­ally an is­sue in low light. If, for ex­am­ple, you want to shoot at 1/125 sec to beat cam­era shake, and you find your shots are un­der-ex­posed even at your lens’s widest aper­ture, you can sim­ply up the ISO to make the sen­sor more sen­si­tive – al­beit at the risk of in­creased noise.

But sen­si­tiv­ity can also be an is­sue in bright light, as the im­age at the top right il­lus­trates. Shot at mid­day in the trop­ics, the scene was bathed in very bright light. Even at my lens’s nar­row­est aper­ture (in this case f/20 on a 70-200mm at 200mm) the shut­ter speed re­quired for a cor­rect ex­po­sure at ISO100 was a blis­ter­ing 1/100 sec – much too fast to blur the move­ment of the waves.

Since I couldn’t lower the ISO (at least not by much) the so­lu­tion was to at­tach two neu­tral den­sity fil­ters to dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the amount of light reach­ing the sen­sor, and so en­able a much longer ex­po­sure of 30 sec­onds (see Long Ex­po­sure Es­sen­tials, be­low, for more on this).

A milky sea was achieved by shoot­ing a 30-sec­ond ex­po­sure at f/20 and ISO100. I re­duced the light en­ter­ing the lens by fit­ting two ND fil­ters: an ND500 (nine-stop re­duc­tion) and an ND64 (three-stop re­duc­tion). With­out fil­ters, the shut­ter speed was 1/100 sec

with fil­ters - 30 secs

with­out fil­ters - 1/100 sec

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.