Saturday, June 9, 2012

Black glass

I bought a 10-stop B+W ND filter awhile ago.  People call it "black glass" because it is quite close to opaque.  I finally got a chance to play with it a few weeks ago.  This at Abbott's Lagoon in Point Reyes.  It was already mid-late morning by this time.  I didn't have high hopes for the photo coming in and I didn't concern myself too much with composition, but I wanted to experiment and this was a convenient spot.  The 10-stop ND filter let me take a 30 second exposure in the middle of a sunny day. 

Tokina 11-16mm @ 16mm, f/8.0 30s ISO100 with 10-stop ND filter and polarizing filter

I had the tripod as high as it was because I wanted to emphasize the water; it was a bit windy so I wanted to see how the waves and ripples translated.  In retrospect, lowering the tripod some may have been a better idea.  I don't find the foreground very nice.  The water in the distance does look nice and has a pleasant dreamy quality to it, but the water in the foreground looks too murky.  Adjusting the polarizer through the black glass was impossible, so I had to eyeball it.  The shallowness of the near water made some of  the reddish sand/soil visible, but I think the water would have looked nicer without it.

I read on the internet that someone didn't like the effect of long exposures on trees and plants on windy days.  It is not at all appealing on the lily things on the right, but I think the shoots coming out of the water look nice, at least, if it weren't for those little bubbles which I don't like.

I don't think this is a particularly interesting image apart from the water in the background, which looks good in spite of the relatively high sun (or perhaps because of?).  The sandy hill could make a nice backdrop and the rocky outgrowths on the left and right side could make for okay framing, but the foreground is frightfully dull.  In the end, it's just a picture of water, but the experiment made it worthwhile.

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