Friday, 28 December 2012

ND8 Filter Trial

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a Neutral Density 8 (ND8) filter. Woo-Hoooo!

Full of excitement, I headed off to Speers Point on the beautiful Lake Macquarie, my mind full of images of silky smooth, misty water and long, wispy dreamlike clouds.

I was a little disappointed at first, because I was not able to get the long exposure settings that I wanted without blowing out the exposure entirely. It wasn't until the Sun started to go down and the light softened and faded that I was really able to achieve the water effect that I had anticipated. The longest exposure I was able to achieve was 20 seconds at f36. The rest were between 1-8 seconds. I was using a Canon EFS 18-55mm lens. I did notice that if I zoomed in to the 55mm that I was able to set a smaller aperture. Not sure why that is but I have obviously got a bit more homework to do!

I think another factor in not gaining that silky smooth look before dusk set in is because the water in the Lake wasn't 'running' very fast; it just ebbed and flowed from the occasional boat going past. I think that given the same time of day on some beach rocks, the motion would be more noticeable at a shorter exposure simply because of the speed of the water from the waves.

Another thing I did not expect was the lovely hues and colour of the sunset through the filter! Really beautiful golden hues and lovely deep blues.

One thing I did not try on this Safari was to stack the ND8 and my Circular Polariser. That may be interesting!

I intend to buy an even darker ND filter once I have mastered this one. I also need to master the Bulb setting on my 600D. Another Photo Safari on the horizon; empty streets!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Stay safe for the New Year!

regards to all


Thursday, 6 December 2012

After Dark - Series #2

I hadn't been out with my Canon 600D after dark, and decided that a night shift presented the perfect opportunity!

I walked the fire stairs to the highest rooftop of the work building that I could access, given the limited time I had available in my break.  The photos here are the best of the bunch.  It was blowing a stiff gusting wind up on the roof and I ended up with a little too much movement in the other photos. 

These particular photos turned out awesome!  I am really pleased with the light reflected off the low cloud over the city and how the slow shutter speeds have given the cloud that dreamy soft look.

This exercise has given me a scathingly brilliant idea for a new Photo Safari; get up high into other tall buildings (day or night) and capture the city and the movements of the people wandering below!

Hope you are all well and not suffering too much pre-Christmas stress!