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Thread: Measured Darkness

  1. #1

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    cynthia angus tonkovich

    Measured Darkness

    Hope one or some of you can help me with a project. Have a project due entitled "Measured Darkness". As the title suggests, it will involve long exposures. Tried doing a couple today and am already frustrated. I have SOME filters. It is my understanding that filters are necessary to make the best images when using long exposures. Can I use filters post-production? The examples given are, quite frankly, gorgeous, and, of course, I want mine to be as well. Guess what? I don't get it. The exposures are between 30 seconds and 4 minutes, and all have been made using multiple filters.
    Today, mine all looked so over-exposed that an image could not even be seen. The sample images ranged from f/11 thru f/45.
    Advice anyone? I would really appreciate your help.

  2. #2

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Make sure your at your lowest ISO setting. You already are using a small aperture, so there isn't much else you can do. The last thing you can do is to take these pictures at night in the dark.
    The only filters that will help you are neutral density and polarizing filters. Especially neutral density filters.

    If the pictures are turning out so over-exposed that you can't see anything, then there won't be anything that you can do in post production. You have to have data there to begin with, to be able to manipulate it.

    You'll just have to use a shorter shutter speed. Technically you could create a smaller aperture by creating a hole in a piece of cardboard, but you'll have diffusion promblems if you do that. If you can't get a shutter speed that high to work, then don't use that big of a shutter speed.

  3. #3

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    Allan Short

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Cynthia: could you post an example or two so we can see what you are getting so we can better help you.

    Allan

  4. #4
    Poaceae's Avatar
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    John

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Here is a good video tutorial by Scott Kelby which should help.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_dKH2mLt0c

  5. #5
    PBelarge's Avatar
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    Pierre

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Cynthia
    What about less time on the exposure?
    How about early morning or later in the day when there is less available light?

  6. #6
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Measured Darkness

    "Magic hour" just before sunrise or sunset are ideal for these types of shots. I did this one just over a month ago at sunset, using a tripod, cable release and 5-stop neutral density filter. My exposure was 2 seconds. Waterfalls are a fairly easy target, as water movement is rapid and it does not take minute-long exposures; unlike more static bodies of water (lakes). I usually bracket and take three or four shots and choose the one that worked best. I will play with colour balance and saturation, because the white balance is tricky at this time of day.

    To answer your question on post-production, this is one effect that can't really be done there. Watch your histograms while taking you shots to manage your exposures.

    Measured Darkness

  7. #7

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    cynthia angus tonkovich

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Thank you so much. Will be taking to the beach tomorrow at sunset to see what I can do. Have read the tuturoial on neutral density filters and will check that out at my local camera shop Tuesday morning if I find I'm still having trouble after Monday evening. Will post results next week.
    Thanks again.

  8. #8

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    cynthia angus tonkovich

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Will do that, Allan, as soon as I have something to post.

  9. #9

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    cynthia angus tonkovich

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Going to the beach just before sunset tomorrow late afternoon. Will post results.
    Thanks so much for your reply.

  10. #10

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    cynthia angus tonkovich

    Re: Measured Darkness

    Going to the beach tomorrow at sunset. Hopefully mine will somewhat compare to this awesome photo.
    Should be quiet there at that time, as our season hasn't begun as yet.
    Will post results.
    Thanks.

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