When I was down in Southern California back in March one of the objects of my attention was the Oceanside Pier. Not only because there's a Ruby's at the end of it, but because we don't have piers like this back home. I don't live near the ocean, and although I'm right on Lake Ontario I haven't found a scene like this, yet.
I knew when I was heading down that I wanted to try some long exposures. I have the Singh-Ray Vari-ND (neutral density) filter which offers anywhere between 2 to 8 stops of density; long exposures is what this filter was made for. Once I got to the pier I found a spot to set up and began working out a composition. I like to keep my compositions simple so I landed on the one you see in the image above. I took a number of exposures, including some bracketed sets for an HDR version which I'll share in another post. I was lucky to have had some clouds, which always works nicely with long exposures. The image above was shot at f22 with a shutter speed of 85 seconds.
After shooting the image above I wanted to shoot directly underneath the pier for a completely different perspective. However, the tide was up and the rocks under the pier were washed over and there wasn't really a safe way for me to set up, so I had to pack it in and come back another time. I made it back a couple of days later and this time I was able to get beneath the pier to set up to shoot the image below. Same idea here, using the Singh-Ray Vari-ND and my camera in manual mode, I set my aperture at f22 for maximum depth of field and held on for a 41 second exposure.
If you haven't done a long exposure before you need a few key pieces of equipment: camera that has a "bulb" option on the shutter speed (all dslr will have this); a tripod is a must, with the shutter open for that amount of time any amount of shake will blur the shot; a neutral density filter, cuts the light entering the lens allowing you to keep the shutter open for longer; and finally a remote cable release to trigger the shutter without shaking the camera. All of these things together will help with the technical aspects of making the shot, but you also need a good scene.
Both images here were initially processed in Lightroom and the black & white conversion was done using Nik Software's Silver Efex Pro 2.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Sunday, April 1, 2012
This is the next instalment of my video tutorial series. In this video I provide an overview of Nik Software's Viveza 2 plugin. Easily one of my favourite plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop.