ND 0.90 Series
To the photographers among you, the name of this series will probably make sense. To those of you not familiar with the term, here's a short explanation.
Please forgive me if I geek out for a minute or two.
The images in this series are shot with long/slow shutter speeds. In most cases the shutter remained open for between 0.5 seconds and 1.5 seconds. That's what gives the water it's "smokey" quality. During the day, these long shutter speeds allow too much light to the sensor resulting in vastly over exposed images. The solution is to use filters on the lens that cut down the amount of light entering the camera. The filters used for this are called neutral density, or ND, thus the series name. The 0.90 refers to density of the filter, this one reduces the exposure by three f-stops. For some of the longest exposures, I used six stops of neutral density.
One downside to that amount of density is that the view through the camera becomes very dim indeed. To combat this, I will often keep both eyes open while looking through the camera, my right eye concentrating on the viewfinder while my left eye takes in a wider view to see what will be coming into the frame. I used the technique a lot when shooting fast-paced sports like motorcycle racing. It's tricky to shoot with both eyes open and takes some practice, but I've done it enough that it can be very helpful when looking through longer lenses.
I have to give a shout out to Canon for their amazing autofocus system. There are images in this series taken where I could barely make out the water due to the extreme ND filters in use. In spite of that, the camera never failed to find focus instantly without any hunting.
For the image below, I used a shutter speed of 0.8 seconds in full daylight.
The geek speak is all well and good however anyone who is lucky enough to enjoy these images can only, ultimately believe in what occurs with patience, experience and an intuitive sense for true magic in the moment.
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