Been in a bit of a photographic funk lately. I haven’t found the right opportunity and place to go shoot. It is either cloudy/rainy or I am busy.
I did run to the park out of shear frustration and take some long exposures one evening. It was very cloudy and there wasn’t much sunset light to be had, but I really needed to get out of the house with my camera.
In this, my composure idea was the lonely park bench overlooking the lake with the long streaked gray clouds indicating how cold it was. The trees are live oaks and so have leaves in the winter. Barren trees might have helped the story here.
I looked at this in black-and-white, but I think it needs the bit of color that it has on the horizon. The color provides a small amount of warmth for this picture which is otherwise completely cold. There are actually people in the scene, but a long exposure makes them disappear.
The next one is a close-up (longer focal length) of the same scene.
I like the wider angle shot better as the park bench is looking across the lake rather than in the corner of the frame.
These were about 4 minutes exposures with a 10-stop ND filter. To calculate exposure, I took a shot without the filter and multiplied the time by about 1000. I then put the camera in manual with the shutter set to bulb and used a remote shutter release and my phone to time the exposure. I also use long exposure noise reduction so each image takes twice the exposure time to take.
The filter I am using is a 77mm Breakthrough Photography 10-stop ND. This was a relatively expensive filter as I have had a cheaper one that does affect the colors a bit. I don’t have that problem with this filter. However, when I use this on my 24-120mm lens at 24mm, the outer ring of the filter does show up in the extreme corners of the image and I have to crop just a little bit. Not a terrible problem, just a minor annoyance.
There were also a lot of birds, but it was getting too dark for them to photograph well.
I walked around a bit and headed back home. I was feeling glum about the whole thing so I didn’t even look at these pictures until about 5 days later. I thought that some of them turned out OK, but not hang-on-the-wall amazing. I could have done a better job isolating the park bench against the lake. It kind of gets into the foliage in the background just at the top. If it were more isolated, it would have read better, I think.
It is difficult to compose a shot with an ND filter as the camera can’t really see much. So you can remove the filter and take a test composition and exposure shot or go for it and wait 8 minutes to find out. I just went for it. And it would have been worth the trouble to better compose the picture first. Learn, learn, learn.