Back Versions (4)
Modifications (1)
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Slow water Southerndown again - big stopper

By SueEley
Back to Southerndown, this time with a heavy Manfrotto tripod, cable release and a big stopper on a D300. 24mm manual prime lens made focussing quite simple, even without being able to see through the lens. There were enormous waves (one of my variants shows how big... and how close .... it was, after all, a 24 mm lens). I'm still far from convinced by the quality, and I think an hour after high tide, in the early evening on a calmer day, and probably with only about 3-5 stops of nd would be better - it would be good to see to compose, if not essential for focussing. Also found getting the correct exposure tricky. Mainly because there was so much spray about that taking the filter off to check the base exposure, or taking my poor little Olympus out, was not very tempting. As it was, a wave broke over me and my camera. And my husband. And nearly reached my camera bag.

Anyhow, I would be very glad of any comments - I found the comments last time so helpful I hope to crack it one day.

I have been reviewing my exif data and I think the reason there isn't much info is because I was using a manual focus lens and bulb setting. The only information I have is for iso. I think the information that is here, is not reliable. I know I was using f22, hyperfocal distance or infinity focusing (at different times). The iso for a lot of the shots was 800 as I needed to bring the exposure time down, which I guess caused at least some of the noise. Thinking about it now, I could just have come down to f11 or f16 and got the same effect as upping the iso a few stops. I just wasn't thinking fast enough.

Tags: Waves Southerndown Big stopper Dunraven Landscape and travel Slow water ND filters

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.

Comments


paulbroad 9 114 1048 United Kingdom
17 Dec 2011 5:19PM
Right, a lot of trouble for this. I have to say that we see a lot of slow creamy water shots - some work and some don't. This is OK, but I struggle to see the long term value of these images. What is the subject, what does it say? Is it pleasing to the eye. The jury is out.

I know my comment is of no use to technique, but it's the subject I'm questioning - for me.


Paul

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SueEley 10 279 96 Wales
17 Dec 2011 5:31PM
I'd like to take a good one! To me, that would be pleasing to the eye and technically good, too.
SlowSong Plus
8 6.3k 29 England
17 Dec 2011 5:46PM
V3 because I love the freshness of the spray, and V4 because it's almost there and just needs a bit more content.
Chris
lonely_oryx 8 61 54 England
17 Dec 2011 6:08PM
#3 for me as it contains more interest
banehawi Plus
12 1.4k 3496 Canada
17 Dec 2011 6:34PM
Hard to critique Sue as theres only exif for thew first shot, and they are all different. I dont think you were looking for a favourite vote?

V1, - dont know why you would use ISO 200 to minimize noise? Theres no aperture value there either for some reason? It doesnt appear very sharp, but I will download it and try a mod.

V2 is quite nice, - perhaps a tad too hogh contrast.

V3 hard to know without shot settings, - looks almost oversharp

V4 has quite a high visible noise, - but dont know the ISO. etc.

V5 again a lot of noise.

Maybe its possible for you to update the description with the shot settings for the others?


regards


Willie
banehawi Plus
12 1.4k 3496 Canada
17 Dec 2011 6:40PM
Loaded a mod of V1 Sue. The lack of sharpness is simply due to the fact that all surfaces are blurred by moving water to one degree or another, so theres no one surface not blurred. So I guess the effect works better if the scene includes objects not covered by water?


Willie
SueEley 10 279 96 Wales
17 Dec 2011 7:36PM
I really like your mod Willie.

I have been reviewing my exif data and I think the reason there isn't much info is because I was using a manual focus lens and bulb setting. The only sensible information I have is for iso. I know I was using f22, hyperfocal distance or infinity focusing (at different times). The iso for a lot of the shots was 800 as I needed to bring the exposure time down, which I guess caused at least some of the noise. I think I will get a 3 or 6 stop nd filter to allow me to be more flexible in future (possibly both as resin ones are cheap). But thinking about it now, I could just have come down to f11 or f16 and got the same effect as upping the iso a few stops. The one that looks oversharp didn't have an nd filter, and I probably sharpened it a bit too much after downsizing.

I will update the description with what I have - that is, not much.
DP_Imagery Plus
11 24 6 Wales
17 Dec 2011 11:30PM
Hi Sue Smile I like Willie's mod too as the extra contrast has lent a more sharp feel to the image - but I also like the more muted tones of your original . . . perhaps a blend of the two treatments would pay dividends? Not a subject I have shot much so can't help with technique - however, I do like the 'feel' of the images if only the noise could be controlled. Of course, you could always go for a really sharp shot then blur it in PS Wink I jest of course Grin
NEWMANP Plus
8 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
18 Dec 2011 9:40PM
hi,
im sort of thinking you are using the wrong tools for the job. you are using high iso with a big stopper, its a bit contradictory in a way. at 800 iso you are putting about 3 to 4 stops back in there and shortening the expoure time that you would need to get the smoothed out big stopper effect

if you want a sort of etheriel feel with milky still water and smeared clouds contrasted against something solid and graphic like groynes / rocks / structure then the big stopper is for you. you will be looking for several minutes of exposure.

if you want abstract views of sea without solid features, say some streaking etc / dragbacks of the tide then you need a totally different approach. say for example 1/4 sec to 15 secs exposure

ive managed all sorts off effects on my d300 and dont even own nd filters of any strength.

if you keep turning the dial after 200 iso there are 2 lower settings that will take you down under 100 iso. select a small aperature around f16 and you will possibly get exposures around 1/2 to 1/4 sec or more which will give you optimum quality and leave some movement in the water. i usually start shooting just before sunrise and just after. for dragbacks, press the shutter when the wave is just about to receed with around 1 sec exposure. you can use av as a metering mode for a test exposure and with raw, you wouldnt be a mile away.maybe a stop or so over ride.

you seem to be losing quality along the way and gaining a type of texture in the water which is somewhere in between those that you would ideally want.

hope this helps
Phil
SueEley 10 279 96 Wales
19 Dec 2011 8:44AM
Thanks, Phil - I did think the high iso was not going to help me, but found the filter was to dense for what I wanted. You have explained the two effects very clearly to me. I have actually ordered a different filter now, fewer stops and a lot cheaper! When I get back to the water, I will bear what you have said in mind and hopefully have a go at both kinds of shot.

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