Wet Rocks

Today's post features a couple of images taken in Cornwall. Appalling weather precluded more traditional coastal landscapes so I tried something a bit unusual for me and used my 10-stop filter for some seriously long exposures.  

My last experience of a 10-stop filter was a home-made one, built from a piece of welding glass. It worked but produced an strong green colour cast so the only image I produced with it, shown below, needed to be monochrome. Still, it was cheap at about £5 versus £50 for a dedicated filter!

The first two photos below are from Cornwall; compare that to the Scottish loch image shot on a welding glass filter.

Misty water, beach rocks and an abundance of fine-art filters are quite a common photograph. Now I've shot it I can see the appeal. It's a challenge to get an appealing composition because you are overwhelmed with options. When you have one thousand rocks to choose from how do you choose the best? 

It was also by turns a calming and exciting experience. It's relaxing walking along the beach looking for interesting compositions, arranging your tripod just-so, calculating your exposure times... it demands a much more patient style of photography I don't often have time for. 

The excitement starts when the tide starts to come in! It's a balance - you need to be close to the water to capture as much of the silky cotton wool effect as possible but not so close you end up underwater. Damn the tide can move quickly!

So far all my attempts at long exposure have produced modest outputs but it's certainly a style of shooting I enjoy. The trick will be finding meaningful/compelling subjects to shoot. Rocks and cotton wool water are OK for practice but there are millions of samey-looking photos. The challenge will be using long exposures in a unique and distinctive way...

This was taken using a 10-stop filter custom made from welding glass.

This was taken using a 10-stop filter custom made from welding glass.

Share your thoughts and long exposure images with me on Facebook or in the comments below!