alan frost photography

in monochrome with occasional colour lapses

Posts from the ‘long exposure’ category

Frazzled in London – with a little ‘ICM’

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

I was in London recently for business purposes. A rare occurrence, so rather than waste the opportunity I took my camera with me in the hope that I could take a few shots at the very end of the day before catching the train home.

I also wanted to take a look at a second hand 90mm f2 summicron lens being sold by Richard Caplan in Pall Mall. The lens appealed to me but when I tested it on my camera it did appear to be ‘back focusing’. I tried a couple of other lenses including my own 50mm summilux and the results were the same. In real world use it probably wouldn’t be a problem but I was left pondering whether or not the rangefinder on the camera needed a fine adjustment. They did offer to send it away to be repaired but I decided not to do anything there and then, and simply make my way home.

By the time I left the shop in Pall Mall it was already dusk, so I walked down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace, heading for Victoria Station. I had joined the commuter conveyor belt all heading for the next train back to the comfort of their home.

 

The Queen's Gallery

The Queen’s Gallery

 

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Using ‘Blur’ down by the River Arun

Riverside
Riverside

Last weekend I gave myself some time to take a few shots with the specific intention of using my Lee Sev5n filter system. Yes, that is how it is spelt. It’s the smaller version of its big brother and works in just the same way but its size is better suited to mirrorless cameras such as the system I use.

I decided to head back to a location I had been to in the Autumn of last year – The River Arun near the tiny hamlet of South Stoke, which is at the end of a no through road to the north of the town of Arundel.

Taking any long exposure shots has to be done with a tripod so the time taken to set up and compose the shot takes a lot longer than a more straightforward hand held exposure, but it does make you stop and think about what you are doing.

When I returned to my car and made the journey back home I was convinced that the hour or so I spent taking a handful of images had not been worthwhile. Nevertheless when I downloaded the files and started to work on them in post processing, a couple of the images started to come together. The long exposure of about 8 seconds which I used for the shot at the top of this entry, had blurred the water and the effect of the light wind movement in the reeds and the branches of the trees was captured. However there was still some detail in the foreground.

As well as taking long exposure shots to create a sense of mood, I though I would also experiment by selectively using one of the ‘blur’ filters in Photoshop and masking certain areas of the image which would have the effect of de-focusing some elements of the photograph. I have used this technique in the  photo below, effectively blurring the left hand side of the image whilst keeping the right hand side relatively sharp. I have applied a vignette as well as a ‘coffee tone’ in Silver Efex Pro2 to produce the image below. This was a 10 second exposure.

River bend
River Bend

Long exposures and using either a restricted depth of field or alternatively applying a ‘blur’ to an image in post processing, are techniques I would like to explore further. Used well, I think the combination can produce an ethereal look to an image which I rather like.