Tag Archives: long exposure


Yesterday another photographer and I went to a site, Tenby Point, , that we had both been at before.  It was hot and still and just a little bit humid with a bit of a walk across a rough stony beach, if one could call a metre wide sand patch a beach.  The object of our desire was a tree with a large log pointing to it, which when the tide comes in makes for a very nice photographic topic.


So we set up and did the usual long exposure work and the results were ok.  Then we left and went to a nearby beach on the southern ocean.  That was better temperature wise with nice large waves breaking over rocks etc.  Spent a bit  of time there and then as the evening wore on and we were not happy with the size of the waves and  the spray we decided to go get some dinner and then return to Tenby Point, not expecting much as cloud was starting to move in.

To our delight on arrival the tide level was great and the sky had enough blue and cloud to make it interesting, moreover the moon was out and in the right place.  So it was all action with torches, long exposures and light painting of the tree.  It is never easy to get the focus right in the dark especially when using a torch to light the subject for focus, just not bright enough so a number of shots ended up out of focus.  However there are a few keepers from the night.


Out of all of the 200 shots I took over the day I have about 12-15 that are worth progressing, something of a rarity for me as I usually find that I only get one or two good images.


Now enough of the waffle, here is my favourite image from last night I hope you enjoy it.





The Occasional Architecture

Every now and then I grab my tripod and a number of ND  (Neutral Density) filters and head into the city to take an architecture shot which I then heavily post process in Photoshop.  Why the ND filters?  Well it enables one to get long wispy clouds with an exposure time in the minutes.


The post processing is to turn the sky dark, highlight the clouds and then dodge and burn the building to produce different emphasis on its architecture.


Enjoy and if you would like a copy on your wall the drop me a line.



Chasing Sugimoto take 2

A long time ago i wrote about chasing  Hiroshi Sugimoto who does sublime long exposure photographs of the ocean.  Well I have finally bought enough ND filters, or at least enough to get over twenty stops of light reduction.  This meant that I could now do very long exposures, at least one hour or if the light was poor longer.

With digital one does not have to worry about reciprocity.  One just has to make sure that the camera is stable, and that the view finder is covered.  After that it is just a case of standing around for some period of time.  The result is this:



Now I love the subtlety that this technique produces.  There is no detail just shades of light graduating across the frame.  Waves dis-appear clouds become soft streaks.


This would look fantastic as a large print and because it has been taken with a medium format camera it can easily be printed to 1 metre on the long side.  If you did want such a print then drop me a line (or comment) and we can go from there.  If you wanted it in canvas then its production costs  and shipping plus 30%.


Imagine this matching your decor, the soft palette of colours, all pastels, derived from an early morning long exposure photograph of a rock awash with waves.  The delicate colours of early dawn beautifully reflected and mixed with the soft toned blues.



Available as a 24  by 16 inch print shipped to you for $400 (AU).

Averaging photos

What do you do if you don’t have a ND filter that is a Neutral Density filter to allow your camera to take long exposures in daylight and thereby blur water for those dreamy waterfall or seaside photographs.

Well one technique is to take a number of photographs from a tripod of the scene. It has to be on  a tripod so that each shot is the same except for the moving water.  The more shots the better, well up to a limit of say 30 and then blend them if Photoshop or Gimp.  Now the blending technique can be any way you want as long as the shots are all in layers.

As an example I took about 34 shots of this beach scene at a spacing of 15 seconds.  Now this spacing is too long as it produces posterisation in a clear sky or in this case bands in the clouds.  However despite the banding one can see that it is effective in producing a beach scene the same as a long exposure.

For the averaging one can blend normally and for each shot calculate according to this formula %blend = (1/number of shots +1)*100  It does work. For the shot below I just took 10% for each and then blended with soft light mode in photoshop.  Most ways of blending will end up near this, experiment and have fun.


Wide Field astrophotography

Been away on holidays and I took with me my Astrotrac to try to get some Wide Field Astrophotography shots.  As luck would have it the first night at Parkes in New South Wales the moon was the predominant feature in the sky.

Now Parkes has a very nice radio telescope which makes for a great backdrop for wide field photos.  So I ventured out with the vain hope that I could get a reasonable shot.  No such luck. The moon was out and nearly full  and there was some cloud around.  Still I took one shot of the radio telescope with the moon and clouds, which I quite like.



Then the next night was at Coonabarabran where there are a number of optical scopes one being near 4 metres.  Again it was a full moon night and the moon was up early so no nice shots at all, very frustrating.


Finally on the way home we stopped at Forbes, about 30kms south of Parkes.  That night despite having driven 600kms I thought I would try one more time for a wide field shot.  After setting up and waiting for night fall I finally got  a reasonable image.  This was taken in the town of Forbes and there is some flare from the town lights.  The trees are well lit because of lights in the caravan park.  The red streak top  middle is from an aircraft.



Then my son joined me and we took a few more.  After a while we decided that it was worth while driving to the radio telescope at Parkes, mainly because it is a dark spot 21kms away from town lights.  Now the stars were spectacular, no light flare, this is the result.


Hope you like this capture of our milky way,  the galaxy we reside in.