Take it your­self

Getaway (South Africa) - - PHOTOGRAPHY -

On over­cast or dreary days, slow down the shut­ter speed to cap­ture dra­matic move­ment in clouds or wa­ter.


You will need a strong, sturdy tri­pod – you can’t take long ex­po­sures without one. Use a wide-an­gle lens and a set of neu­tral den­sity fil­ters (see Know Your Stuff on the next page). In­stead of the cam­era’s built-in timer, you can use a cable re­lease to trig­ger the shut­ter re­motely. A rain cover for your cam­era and wa­ter­proof pon­cho for you and your cam­era bag will keep things dry in mist or driz­zle.


Set the ISO at 100 or, bet­ter still, drop it to 50 if your cam­era al­lows. Use a small aper­ture, be­tween f/11 and f/18. Both these set­tings will en­able you to get the slow­est shut­ter speed pos­si­ble. Neu­tral den­sity fil­ters can be used to slow the shut­ter speed even more – you want it to be at least 30 sec­onds or even longer.


In­clude in­ter­est­ing fore­ground de­tail when fram­ing your image. Get low and close to rocks in the wa­ter or use a strong fo­cal point.

Use a cable re­lease or the cam­era’s built-in timer to trig­ger the shut­ter. Phys­i­cally press­ing the shut­ter but­ton will cause cam­era shake and your image won’t be sharp.

Time the shot for beau­ti­ful move­ment in the waves break­ing or flow­ing around the rocks, or for op­ti­mum cloud de­vel­op­ments in the sky.

The longer your ex­po­sure the more move­ment you’ll get in the clouds and wa­ter, up to the point where the wa­ter be­comes ethe­real, al­most like mist – as in Rudi’s shot. This is re­ferred to as ghost­ing (not the same as when un­wanted ob­jects like ha­los ap­pear in im­ages, which is also some­times called ghost­ing).

STARTER TIP Em­brace the bleak out­doors by shoot­ing in black and white. Re­mem­ber, too, that some sub­jects, such as a light­house, will be far more dra­matic against a stormy, tex­tured sky.

AM­A­TEUR TIP Look down – pud­dles cre­ate in­ter­est­ing re­flec­tions. Or look around and cap­ture the ex­pres­sions of peo­ple scur­ry­ing about in the rain.

PRO TIP Ex­per­i­ment with dif­fer­ent ND fil­ters to push your shut­ter speed longer than a minute, which can give you beau­ti­ful ghost­ing and re­flec­tion ef­fects.

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