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