The day had been a mixture of rain and clouds. For landscape photography, this can either mean a really interesting cocktail of factors or a nightmare in the making. Alas, the rain had meant that the morning had been a write off. I travelled the length of the north coast of the Isle of Lewis without finding the right ingredients for a memorable image.
After scrutinising a map, I noticed an interesting coastline option that meant transversing a local farmer’s land. With no one around to ask for permission, I trekked the 2km to the beach and found the stormy, isolate image above. This image is a 100 second exposure using a 10 stop ND filter. The long exposure robbed the photograph of some of the colour. To counter this, I put my longer prime lens on my camera and took a 2 second shot of a section of the same scene.
This shot was taken on La Palma, one of the Canary Islands, off the coast of West Africa. La Palma is often referred to as La Isla Bonita (beautiful island) and after spending a few days there, I can see why. This is from the beach closest to the hotel called Cancajos. This is a long exposure (150 second) shot of sunrise over the black, volcanic sand. The sun was finally breaking through the permanent band of cloud on the horizon, illuminating the jagged rocks on the shoreline.
Saturday walk along the River Thames and we finally had some clement weather, albeit not balmy.
I was trying out my new 25mm lens with a Firecrest 3.0 HD this weekend. Not the classic streaking clouds shot but was quite interesting. I have started to do more HDR images (this is not one of them) as I have seem some great YouTube videos on how to combine images subtly.
For the last couple of weeks before Christmas, I was in China on business. I spent my time in Shanghai and Qingdao. Unfortunately, in Qingdao, I did not have the chance to take any shots. However, I was fortunate enough whilst staying in Shanghai to have a day when the smog was not too heavy and the sun was out, albeit briefly.
After taking lots of shot of the river and Pudong, from the boulevard on The Bund, I spotted a raised platform and included the foreground Christmas bustle. To make the image more interesting, I used a combination of filters including a Polariser, Big Stopper and 0.9ND. I was fortunate that the lady in the yellow jacket hardly moved whilst I took this long exposure, which really anchors the shot for me.
I was in Stockholm at the end of last week and wondered down to the harbour in search of a morning shot before the working day commenced. The weather forecast had stated it would be a clear, sunny day, yet as I stood on the quayside, it started to snow gently. As the opalescent cloud drifted off in a south easterly direction, the dawn light emerged along with some dawn colours.
The second shot below I took a short while later, with a Lee Filter Little Stopper (x6 ND filter), to lengthen the exposure. I lost the colour in the clouds but the movement of the ferry and sky made for an interesting alternative version of the same scene.
Last weekend, the UK was battered with gale force winds and heavy rain. I headed down to Sidmouth in Devon to try and capture some of nature’s drama. The first shot was from a rock jetty by the sea. I used a Little Stopper, which caused an interesting colour cast in the image. The sea was a deep red from the churned up sea bed.
I move along the beach to grab this shot of the waves breaking against the concrete causeway. The evening sun was behind me but the clouds to the east reflected the evening glow, behind the crashing waves.
A couple of other extra long exposure shots from last weekend. This one was taken close to the Millennium Bridge. As the river was low, I was able to walk down to the beach, to take a lower angle shot of the Thames and Shard. The sun had finally broken through the clod, albeit temporarily, to illuminate the scene and bath the Shard in light.
This next shot was of HMS Belfast, across the Thames, of the Walkie Talkie building with the Gherkin also visible. As the ship was floating on the river, it tended to bob around, so I diminished the length of the exposure to compensate. You can see this in comparison to the tub boats in the foreground, which are blurred.
This weekend, after gaining inspiration from a couple of YouTube tutorials, I tried my hand at some extra long exposure shots in London. The weather on Sunday was perfect, with a mixture of sun and cloud.
I walked around Tower Bridge and the London Assembly. However, it was the view from London Bridge that caught my eye. The image above is made up of 8 long exposure images stitched together. Each image was a 90 second exposure. The whole shot took around 15 minutes, including set up and transition time.
One thing to look out for is battery usage as extreme long exposure shots use up a lot of power, so I recommend carrying spares.
The shot below was my first shot of the day. Being a film photographer at heart, I used my handheld lightmeter plus Lee Filter Big Stopper app, to deduce the exposure.
Still getting used to mixing light levels between graduate ND filters and a Big Stopper. This was a 2 minute exposure on the Devonshire coastline, as the afterglow of the sunset dwindled just long enough to be captured on film. To the naked eye, the scene was almost devoid of colour, verging on the black and white.