First attempt with ND filter - advice welcome !

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1,514
Name
Justin
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#1
Hello

I finally decided to purchase a ND 10 stop filter to have a go at long exposures. I've never used any filters before (other than a CPL) and wanted to practice before a trip to Scotland next month !

I read some advice on the internet and downloaded an exposure app and followed this basic procedure.

Took a baseline shot with A/F on OIS off - ISO set to 160. With the shutter speed from this I used the calculator to give me the shutter speed with the 10 stop filter on.
Put into MF, screwed in filter- kept ISO at 160 and roughly followed advice given by my app - I found, however, that the app tended to under exposure images...
Selected timer and chose 2 seconds - pressed shutter and didnt dare move...

Does this procedure sound OK to you ?

This was the result witht the shutter speed at 25 seconds

Darley Abbey Weir
by Justa1972, on Flickr

However, when I increased the shutter times it had an odd effect on the trees in the top right corner ? Anyone know what this is ?

DSCF2344.jpg
by Justa1972, on Flickr

Thanks for looking and all advice gratefully rec'd !

cheers
 
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1,328
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Trevor
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#3
The process seems sound enough to me Justin. It will be the filter causing the discrepancy, not the app, they are rarely exactly as stated. It sounds like yours is denser than 10 stops. Test it a few times, comparing the app time with that of a well exposed shot and you’ll see what strength the filter actually is and then you can use that to dial the correct rating into the app.
I agree with Elliot, I think that is movement of the tree branches during the 25 secs of the exposure.
 
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OP
justa1972
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1,514
Name
Justin
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#4
The process seems sound enough to me Justin. It will be the filter causing the discrepancy, not the app, they are rarely exactly as stated. It sounds like yours is denser than 10 stops. Test it a few times, comparing the app time with that of a well exposed shot and you’ll see what strength the filter actually is and then you can use that to dial the correct rating into the app.
I agree with Elliot, I think that is movement of the tree branches during the 25 secs of the exposure.
Thanks Trevor that's great :)
 
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326
Name
Steven
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#7
If you are concerned about the wind movement you can do what other people do and take two exposures. One long and one normal then blend them in photoshop.

Regards...
 
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39
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#11
I try to remember to use mirror lock up as well plus using a remote release helps as well.

It does bring a new world to your photography.
 
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326
Name
Steven
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#15
Serious!

I'm amazed that a piece of software can know that you want movement in certain parts of an image and sharpness in another.
The software doesn't know. You do. Load both images into Photoshop* as layers and use layer masks to blend them. It doesn't work in Lightroom as that software doesn't support layers and layer masking.

Have a search on Youtube for Photoshop image blending. Lots of videos explaining it.

*Other software like Affinity might offer the same facilities.

Regards
 
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63
Name
J
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#19
I'd be really happy with that image. Looking at filters myself - was this a screw in? Can't decide between screw in or more expensive Lee filters.
 
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17,183
Name
Steve
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#22
Movement in the wind
Which is why, in my view, long exposures and landscapes don't mix well. If all you want is the sky and/or water to move and nothing else (like trees, folliage, grasses) you need an incredibly still day to pull off a blemish free one.

For stuff like architecture (say the Kelpies and clouds are moving) they can be very striking, or wild seascapes (so long as there is no seaweed etc to blur) they can be great but on the whole I avoid long exposures like syphilis.

With water - I like to retain a sense of texture rather than the milky look - so you might only need to go to 1/6th of a second - anything over 2 and a lot of the texture gets lost.

If you are concerned about the wind movement you can do what other people do and take two exposures. One long and one normal then blend them in photoshop.

Regards...
If you are comfortable doing this in PS - ignore what I said. I prefer to try get everything in a single exposure.
 
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