Tag Archives: Long Exposure

10 Stop Filter what & why?

What is a 10 Stop filter ?
Think of a 10 Stop filter like a pair of sunglasses for your camera but the only difference with a 10 Stop is that you would be lucky if you could see through it. Photographers use these filers for all kinds of reasons but I use it for what I call “Slowing things down” because when it is placed in front of the lens it lengthens the exposure time greatly;  for instance if I took a photo without it, my  shutter speed would be for example  a 30th of a second, if I attached a 10 Stop filter the shutter speed would need to be increased to 30 Seconds to get the same exposure. So when shooting moving water or cloudy sky’s everything changes,  moving water gets turned into milky smoothness and fast moving sky’s get stretched out! the results it produces look almost unworldly.

My Experience with 10 Stop filters.
I have been using extreme ND filters for over a year and I have always loved the results they produce, but also  hated all the messing around that had to be done to use one. This is because the only decent 10 Stop filter you could buy was a B&W Screw in one and it was plagued with problems from the start, the first being if you wanted to use GND (ND Grad filters) you have to attach your preferred filter system and set up your GND’s to the desired settings, then remove the system without knocking your filters out of position, then screw back on the B&W 10stop without knocking the camera out of focus,  then reattach the filter system and finally take the shot! the second problem was the awful brown colour cast this filter produces. Most of the time it can be corrected on the computer, but sometimes when reviewing your shots in the field it can be a disheartening looking at a brown photo and trying to have a vision on how you will fix it before you end up deleting it !

New amazing product.
Well, there won’t be anymore messing around thanks to Lee’s New “Big Stopper ” Extreme ND 10 Stop filter. For me this is the best product I have seen so far this year and as soon as I heard it was launched I was straight on the phone to my supplier! The “Big Stopper” is a 100mm / 100mm Glass ND filter that slots into the first slot of any Lee or Cokin Z pro filter holder. You may worry about light sneaking in from the back and causing problems with your long exposures? This is not the case as it has a square foam seal around the edge that meets up perfectly with the filter holder. Colour cast doesn’t seem to be a problem with no brown cast detected whatsoever, also I think it is optically better that the B&W getting slightly sharper results. The filter also comes in a nice padded bag and a exposure chart to help  calculate your exposure times, an all round great product in my opinion!

Below are some recent photographs taken with the “Big Stopper

Durdle Door

At the moment I am away on tour with Steve Knightly doing his sounds and production for his solo tour, today we passed so close to Durdle Door we just had to make a small detour to finally go and see the place. I have wanted to photograph this location as soon as I knew of its existence. I am happy to say it lived up to expectations, The sea was even more green and the arch was bigger than I originally though.

Below are afew shots from the day including a very excited one of me.

Durdle Door Arch

From the cliffs

Excited old me.

An afternoon chasing light & tide

I was going to get up and do a sunrise at a local location as the weather looked very promising for a change. I did get up at 7am but I went back to bed again. I needed to make up for it by dedicating my afternoon to getting some decent shots and maybe catch a sunset if there was one.

I started off by heading for Whitburn  near Marsdens bay South Shields, I knew the tide was coming in but I was hoping it was still out so I could access one of the arches for enough time to get a decent shot, This was not the case, I probably could have got to the arch and set up but I would of had to swim back! I decided to get a wide shot of all three arches. By the time I had finished the first exposure it was time to leave as the tide was heading in fast.

After that I decided I would head north and see if the weather at St Mary’s Lighthouse was any good. Even though the tide was high, I have no high tide shots at this location. I arrived and the first signs of pink were visible in the clouds so I headed down to the rocks and set up I tried a couple of different compositions and settled with the one below.

Whitburn Arch

St Mary’s Lighthouse

Photographing the Angel

Its always very difficult photographing a location that has been done so many times before but I also see it as a challenge.
Myself and a fellow photographer decided to give the Angel of The North a try as neither of us had ever attempted to photograph this mammoth north east icon.

The wind was quite high so the clouds were moving at quite a speed above us, so I decided a long exposure would help drag the sky out and create more drama in the shot, I also didn’t want to include any distracting foreground I just wanted the Angel to dominate the frame without any reference of size.

The timing was the main problem as Angel of the North attracts a lot of attention from tourists and locals so it can get quite busy. Finding a space of time to take an exposure without someone walking though the frame was the fist challenge. The second challenge was getting the exposure time correct so I got the exact cloud motion I wanted. Once I had worked out the best exposure time I waited for the best clouds and the tourists to clear and 19 seconds later I had my shot.

For people who are interested see the camera settings below.

EXIF: 24mm | ISO: 100 |19s @ f/11 | B&W 10 Stop Filter + Heliopan CP

Lens: Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 AF-S ED Camera: Nikon D700

Take a look at my Flickr page for more recent work.



Gala Theatre front cover Image *Published*

This week I was at the Sunderland Empire Theatre taking some production promo shots for Orbital Sound who have been touring the sound support for The Sound Of Music, I had a guided tour and I have to say I was very impressed at the attention to detail in the sound design,You can have sneaky peak at some of the photos here
As the weekend approaches I have my fingers crossed for the sky’s to clear and some good weather to grace the North East, hopefully I will get out and do some serous landscape photography as I have some new equipment to try out and lots of ideas spinning around in my head.