I spent a weekend In Bodega Bay, CA for a little R & R. Bodega Bay is usually known from the classic Hitchcock Film, The Birds, but I didn’t have a problem with them! I used the opportunity to work on some long exposure images, specifically 30 seconds per image. I am relatively new to the long exposure game, so it’s taking me some time to get a feel for it. What has really opened the 30 second world up for me has been the Tiffen LE series Apex filter; it’s a 10 stop ND filter.
As for the rest of the gear, I shot on my Nikon D810 with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens and the CamRanger hardware and iPad app to manage the camera settings and shutter release. One thing that takes getting used to, is that you can’t see through the lens when the filter is on, so you have to compose and focus with it off. Then you need to lock focus and attach the filter. I did however find that I can see enough on the CamRanger live view to make composition adjustments.
Once I had an image that I was satisfied with, I took it into the Snapped app on the iPad. While shooting these images, I try to stay around f22, which means that you see ALL the dust and spots on the camera sensor. The new Snapseed update has a spot tool which ROCKS! I was amazed at how it took care of even the spots around objects without distorting the surrounding pixels.
Now for the shooting. The water first thing in the morning is very calm. It still had some waves but much less than the rest of the day, so I thought it was the best time to shoot. The setting I ended up at was:
ISO 40 to 100 f22 30sec
I am really loving the images I am creating with a Tiffen filter. If you haven’t played around with ND filters before, I highly recommend it. They will be part of my bag from now on.