Étude – making photos at the rocky shore

There’s nice autumn weather with blue sky and there’s today, a windy day with a clouded sky, but at least no rain. I took a tour to the rocky shore at Långhällan, one of my favourite places nearby. My plan was to practise. The musical pieces that provide you with practising material are called étude. That’s why I’ll call it “étude” when I practise photography.

Todays topic: Long time exposure which filters at daylight to blur the waves. I’ll show you the unedited snapshots of two motifs at the coast. That’s how it looks like, if you just do “click”.

Ok, that’s the motifs. They show some kind of chaos, because the windy weather created quite big waves (at least for the bottenviken – the most northern part of the Baltic Sea) and it’s hard to distinguish between the waves and the rocks. There’re several way to improve the photos. One: Wait for better weather. Two: Work with filters.

In the following images I used the Big Stopper, a filter that takes away 99.9% of the incoming light and forces you to exposure 1000 times longer than usual. Instead of 1/20 of a second for example you would expose 50 seconds, long enough to blur all the moving objects as the waves, but to keep the sharpness of the stable objects as the rocks. Additionally I used a graduated filter to avoid overexposure of the sky. And that’s the first motif with the filters, edited in Lightroom.

The long exposure transforms the waves in some kind of a foggy layer, making the photo look like flying over cloudy mountains. I’m not so happy with the shot. Waves are too high blurring bigger parts of the rocks and the sky is quite dull making the photo almost looking like black-white.

By way of comparison a photo of the same motif I made last year which I prefer instead of the todays shot:

The next photo I like much better. The rocks are looking rougher and the tuft of grass is a nice eye catcher giving the photo both a focus and a story. It will be the first image of my series “one”.

What do you need beside of the filters to make these photos: First of all a stable tripod, it’s a must. A remote release is quite handy to avoid shaky images. And last not least, warm and water proof clothes. I had chest waders to get to the big rock through knee deep water and to kneel without getting wet.

Some vocabularies for my German readers:

exposure – Belichtung
expose – belichten
blur – weichzeichnen, verwackeln, verwischen
tripod – Stativ
remote release – Fernauslöser
chest waders – Wathose

Last not least, just another photo from today, perhaps my favourite:

10 comments to “Étude – making photos at the rocky shore”

  1. Hannah Karlsson 2014-10-05 07:24

    Wow! Schon wieder sehr geniale Bilder! Und danke für die Vokabelliste, ließ sich aber alles auch ganz gut aus dem Zusammenhang erschließen… :-)

  2. way-up-north 2014-10-05 13:14

    Ja, das fotografieren hat auch Spaß gemacht, Hannah. Aber aufwändig ist das ganze schon ein bisschen.

  3. Ricarda 2014-10-05 16:39

    Herrliche Fotos !
    Bringt mich auf die Idee auch mal wieder den 1000-fach Filter rauszukramen und mir Zeit für Langzeitbelichtungen zu nehmen……
    Lieben Gruß

  4. way-up-north 2014-10-05 18:07

    Danke, Ricarda. Wo bekomme ich Deine Fotos dann zu sehen? im Blog?

  5. Ma HB 2014-10-06 12:13

    Dear Olaf, I don’t think, you have to practise ètudes anymore! The Photo from last year is so beautiful too. The Photo without the eye catcher would be only a normal photo, but a little bit grass helps, to make a specially picture!!
    Greeting Ma

  6. way-up-north 2014-10-06 18:54

    Thank you, Ma HB. Your art is fantastic, too, but we both want to improve, that’s part of being creative.

  7. Sandra 2014-10-07 09:15

    Very nice pictures! The fifth is my favorite! Little dashes of color in almost “black and White” give something special! I love pictures like them…..!!

  8. way-up-north 2014-10-07 16:29

    Thank you, Sandra. I like the fifth – the one with the grass – best as well, followed by the last one which looks much rougher (and bigger) than reality.

  9. Petra und Ulrich 2014-10-08 17:45

    Hallo Olaf,

    werde Deine Seite bei der Zeitschrift “Spot light” empfehlen, denn die übersetzten Fachbegriffe aus der Fotografiererei ist genial. Poliere noch an meinem Englisch, um dem modifizierten “way-up-north” gerecht zu werden!
    Good idea for all your international followers, including those from Germany! ;o] Many greetings Petra & Ulrich

  10. way-up-north 2014-10-08 18:21

    Petra und Ulrich: ich werde immer mal ein paar Begriffe übersetzen. Gerade bei speziellen Dingen wie Fotografie oder Paddeln kann das ganz praktisch sein.

    Schöne Grüße,
    Olaf

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