Rodney Campbell's Blog

Waiting at Long Bay…

by on Dec.17, 2015, under Life, Photography

As is often the case when we’re out in the morning on a sunrise session and the overcast conditions continue well after sunrise… We whip out the heavy ND filters to see what they might bring with a post sunrise long exposure.

This was from a trip with Gerry to Long Bay a very long time back – in the dim dark annals of history – almost a year ago 🙂

Note: These photographs (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

Dawn Brushstrokes

Dawn Brushstrokes

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 19 mm, 308 sec at f/11, ISO 100

I have two strong ND filters that I use a lot:

– the Lee LittleStopper is a 6 stop ND (it allows 1/64th of the light to pass through)
– the Lee BigStopper is technically not an ND (as it isn’t neutral) but it cuts the exposure by around 10 stops (and allows just 1/1000th of the light to pass through)

Using heavy ND filters means a lot of waiting. When using them you’re generally looking to produce fairly long exposures in the multi minute region so you’re forever waiting for these exposures to finish (only to find you’ve under or over exposed them – you do get better at judging these with practice however).

The LittleStopper is a great filter to use when it isn’t too bright – very close to sunrise and sunset, whilst the stronger BigStopper is more for daytime long exposures.

At 7AM (and 45 minutes after sunrise) it’s still very cloudy but quite bright so I’ve opted with the image up above to use the BigStopper (stacked with my trusty Formatt-Hitech 0.9 Reverse Grad and the Heliopan CPL) for a 5+ minute long exposure at f/11 and ISO 100

After walking all the way back around the coast to the Randwick Golf Club where we’d parked the cars we decided to check out the tidal pool they have here. The tide was very high so it was essentially swamped which made it too difficult to shoot up close. After a few failed long exposure attempts above the pool I followed Gerry a little further up the coast to look back towards the pool and where the sun was hidden behind thick clouds.

It’s now 7:50AM and I’ve stuck with the BigStopper stacked with just the CPL for this 5+ minute exposure at f/8 and ISO 100. Last shot of the day and we’re out of here – we’ve been waiting long enough – breakfast is calling…

Long Long Bay

Long Long Bay

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 20 mm, 308 sec at f/8, ISO 100

I’ve just noticed something pretty bizarre – both of these shots were done manually as I usually do for long exposures – I start the shot and then end it manually when I “feel” like they will be ready. In this case they both ran for exactly 308 seconds – random chance, serendipity, who knows :)…

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