Friday, 23 November 2012

Stopping TIme

I had a couple of specific photographic aims on my recent visit to Scotland; one was to have a go at stitched panoramas (a topic of a previous post) and the other was to use my Lee Big Stopper filter. For anyone wondering what on earth that is, in simple terms, it is a filter which enables you to make really long exposures. For anyone wondering why on earth you would want to do such a thing, consider the effect of blurring anything that is moving, water for instance.

Clearly then, the ideal situation to use this filter would be one in which there was plenty of movement to affect. Unfortunately, this was not such an occasion. The picture above was made shortly before sunrise on a very still morning when the only movement was in the clouds and even they were only moving very slowly.

This, however, was a 16 minute exposure. Really! 16 minutes! Now, a word of warning if you plan to try this yourself - if using a digital camera with a long exposure noise reduction facility, do turn it off beforehand. I didn't and that meant that, following the 16 minute exposure, the camera spent another 16 minutes processing the file. That is an awfully long time to be standing around for a single exposure and, worse still, there was nothing I could do while I watched the sky turn a subtle shade of pink.

This was it then - my only attempt with the filter so far and not the most dramatic effect. It has, though, resulted in quite a pleasing image which seemed to lend itself to black and white.

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