Stun­ning steel­works

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Beauty spot?

A big part of mak­ing the scene beau­ti­ful is find­ing the best as­pect of it. We chose a high van­tage point to look down on Port Tal­bot’s steel­works. Pick out the key el­e­ments that you want to pho­to­graph in ad­vance. We ar­rived three hours be­fore sun­set to find this spot.

2 Po­etry in mo­tion

The steam, the clouds, a plane pass­ing by – these are all mov­ing el­e­ments in the land­scape. In or­der to cap­ture the move­ment you’ll need to set a long ex­po­sure, and that means keep­ing your Nikon still atop a tri­pod. Make sure each leg is on a sta­ble part of the ground.

3 Frame the ex­tremes

This tech­nique is about what you leave out of your frame. Isolate only the very worst or very best of the scene – don’t set­tle for av­er­age as your im­age will have no im­pact. A tele­photo zoom in the re­gion of 70-300mm will give you flex­i­bil­ity when it comes to vary­ing the fram­ing.

4 Bal­ance

Make bal­anced shots with pat­terns or strong struc­tures. If you have row af­ter row pip­ing, why not find a pat­tern and make a more vis­ually pleas­ing im­age? Steps are also good as they usu­ally lead some­where, and you can use a van­ish­ing point to make a photo with in­fi­nite depth.

5 Set­tings

In man­ual mode, set a shut­ter speed of 3 secs to blur the clouds. To do this dur­ing the day you’ll need an aper­ture of f/16 or above plus a five-to-10 stop ND fil­ter, or f/2.8 with­out a fil­ter at night. Use the self-timer at 2 secs to avoid nudg­ing the cam­era. Keep the ISO at 100.

6 As night rolls in…

…Slow your shut­ter speed. As the sky dark­ens, the his­togram will lean against the left side of the graph. This is nor­mal – just check to see if the high­lights are touch­ing the right-side of the graph; if they are then they’re blown out and you should in­crease your shut­ter speed.

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