Australian seascape and landscape photography

Posts tagged “photography

The Glow of Last Light – Sorrento

A long exposure image from Sorrento back beach, Victoria, Australia. The last rays of the day create a warm glow on the back of the Sphinx rock formation.

sphinx sorrento jim worrall mornington peninsula
Available as a quality print at Redbubble and Zazzle.


In the surf at Kilcunda

A couple of long exposure images from the surf beach at Kilcunda.

Kilcunda ocean beach Jim Worrall

Kilcunda beach Jim Worrall


Dawn at Pulpit Rock – Cape Schanck

A couple of images from a dawn shoot at Pulpit Rock, Cape Schanck. Yes, I know, it’s not like me to be up before the birds. I don’t know what got into me. The images were taken during a welcome break between showers.
Pulpit rock Cape Schanck Jim Worrall

Pulpit Rock Cape Schanck  Jim Worrall


Seaford pier – Up before the dawn

Images from a pre-dawn trip to Seaford pier with friends from the ND400 Long Exposure group on Facebook. We arrived in the pitch black of early morning, ….a VERY unusual time for me, ….and waited for the sun to rise.
seaford pier Jim Worrall

As the sun slowly rose behind us pastel colours appeared in the sky.
This image is available as a high quality print at Redbubble and Zazzle.
seaford pier Jim Worrall

A long exposure image from under Seaford pier.
seaford pier Jim Worrall
The morning was finished nicely with a civilized hot breakfast at the pier cafe. 🙂


A Hot Starry Night at the Shed

An night time image from semi rural Devon Meadows. The foreground is lit by the long exposure picking up light from a neighbour’s house. Stars are apparent in the night sky.

A starry Night at the Shed -  Devon Meadows


Playing with fire – Experiments with burning steel wool

Playing with fire, steel wool

This collection of images were captured during a couple of night time excursions by members of my ND400 Long Exposure group on Facebook. The patterns are created by igniting steel wool packed inside a metal kitchen whisk and then swinging the whisk in various ways to create the desired effects.
I recommend that if your interested in giving this a try you should wear protective clothing to prevent igniting your hair or clothes. Also stay away from areas of dry grass or bushes. A beach is a good place for trying this kind of photography. Have fun!!

Playing with fire, steel wool

Playing with fire, steel wool

Experiments with burning steel wool

Burning steel wool

Flaming steel wool - Jim Worrall

IMG_4381_900

IMG_4386_900


Sunset at Dog Rocks, Batesford.

A sunset image taken at Dog Rocks, Batesford, Victoria, Australia. It was the 21st December 2012 which was supposedly meant to be our “last day on Earth”. Thankfully it was all hot air as expected. 😉

Dog Rocks Batesford, Victoria Australia Jim Worrall

The image is available to purchase as a high quality print through either my Zazzle or Redbubble websites.


Fire in the Night – Mentone Groyne

A long exposure image taken at Mentone beach just after sunset.

Mentone- Port Phillip Bay - sunset - Jim Worrall

Available as a high quality print at my Redbubble and Zazzle websites.


Koonya beach – Blairgowrie

The beautiful Koonya beach at Blairgowrie. A favorite spot of mine to sit and watch nature at it’s best.

Koonya beach - Blairgowrie - Jim Worrall

The image is available as a print at my Redbubble and Zazzle websites.


Jetty Remnants at Tenby Point West

Tenby Point West Jetty
Available as a quality print at Zazzle or Redbubble.

Tenby Point West Jetty
Available as a quality print at Zazzle or Redbubble.


Days of Azure

An image from Sorrento back beach, near the Sphinx rock formation.

Days of Azure - Sorrento beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Available as a print at Zazzle or Redbubble.


Return to Mentone Groyne

A couple of long exposure images from the groyne on the beach at Mentone near the pub.

Mentone Groyne - Jim Worrall - Port Phillip Bay - Australia

Mentone Groyne - Jim Worrall - Port Phillip Bay - beach - Australia


Tenby Point – West Jetty

A long exposure image at high tide from the picturesque shores of Tenby Point on Western Port Bay, Australia.

Tenby Point - West Jetty - Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - Australia - ND400


Olinda – Ferns in the Dappled Light

I went to shoot the Olinda Falls today but the light turned out to be a bit too patchy and harsh. The dappled light streaming down through the tree-top canopy did however provide the right conditions to make a feature of the ferns.

Olinda ferns - Jim Worrall - Dandenong Ranges - Australia

Olinda fern - dappled sunlight - Jim Worrall - Dandenong Ranges - Australia

Ferns in dappled sunlight - Olinda- Jim Worrall - Dandenong Ranges - Australia


Signal – Ricketts Point

A marker on the outermost edge of the rock shelf at Ricketts Point beach in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia.

Signal - Ricketts Point beach - Jim Worrall - Australia

Prints are available at my Zazzle or Redbubble websites.


At the Edge of the Ocean

November is a great time of year on the Mornington Peninsula back beaches. The warming water signals an explosion of bright green seaweed on the rocky plateaus all along the coast.

Turbulence - Sorrento beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Ebb - Sorrento beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Pool - Sorrento beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Plateaus at Sorrento - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia


Rock pools at the back beach – Sorrento

Following are a couple of shots of the beautiful rock pools available to explore at Sorrento back beach during low tide. In these images I’ve used an ND400 filter to smooth the background waves and a polarizing filter to remove the sky’s reflection from the surface of the pools.

Sorrento rock pools - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Sorrento rock pools - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia


The Dell – Clifton Springs

Jetty remnants at The Dell at Clifton Springs in Victoria, Australia.

The Dell - Clifton Springs - Jim Worrall - Australia


A Morning at Sorrento back beach

Firstly just a quick note to let you know that I’ve updated the blog to give it a whole new look and most importantly it will now allow me to display larger images on the page. Screen sizes and resolutions have changed dramatically since I first started the blog several years ago. I’m sure you’ll agree that larger images is a step in the right direction.

The following images are from a morning trip down to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula.

Sorrento back beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia - long exposure

Sorrento back beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia - long exposure

Now for some fun shots. The two images below were taken by my friend Stephen Pretty from Perfection Photography. He managed to catch a couple of golden moments in time where the waves got the better of me.

Jim Worrall hit by wave - photographer - Stephen Pretty

Jim Worrall hit by wave - photographer - Stephen Pretty


Corinella Sunset

Corinella Sunset - Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - Australia

Sunset at Corinella. Taken near the French island ferry docking point.


Cat Bay and Ventnor, Phillip Island long exposures

It was a fine day with fluffy white clouds scooting along on the breeze. It didn’t take long for me to convince myself to go down along the coast and play with some dark ND filters.

Below – The old jetty remnants at Cat Bay, Phillip Island.
Cat Bay jetty - Phillip Island - Jim Worrall - nd400 long exposure

Below – The old jetty remants at Cat Bay, Phillip Island.
Cat Bay - Phillip Island - Jim Worrall - long exposure -nd400

Below – Summerlands beach, Phillip Island. I was lucky to catch this one with no footprints near it since this is a popular stretch of beach for the locals to wander on.
Summerlands beach - Phillip Island - Jim Worrall - nd400 long exposure

Below – Red Rocks beach, Ventnor, Phillip Island.
Ventnor beach - Phillip Island - Jim Worrall - nd400 long exposure

Below – Red Rocks beach, Ventnor, Phillip Island.
Ventnor beach - Phillip Island - Jim Worrall - nd400 long exposure

Below – Red Rocks beach, Ventnor, Phillip Island.
Ventnor beach - Phillip Island - Jim Worrall - nd400 long exposure

Below – Some old jetty remnants at Grantville beach, shot at dusk on the way home.
Grantville jetty remnants - Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - nd400 long exposure


How to use the ND400 for daytime long exposure photography

**Updated 30th Aug 2014 to emphasize the importance of blocking the viewfinder eyepiece**

The Aim of this Guide
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I’ve written this guide to answer the most common questions that I receive regarding my NDX400 / ND400 long exposure photography.

This guide serves as a quick introduction to daytime long exposure photography for those who have never attempted it before. My aim is to explain the methods that I use with the intention of getting you shooting as quickly and simply as possible.

This is NOT designed as an in-depth technical guide. There are other guides on the internet that delve into all the maths and physics involved.

I will be adding to this page, or making corrections, from time to time as the need arises.

Flinders beach - Jim Worrall - long exposure - nd400 - ndx400

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What equipment do I need?
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– A camera –
Any DSLR camera will do the job nicely. An entry level DSLR is fine.
There are even a few compact cameras which are suitable. If your compact camera is tripod mountable, allows you to take control of ISO, aperture and shutter speed, and is capable of having filters attached then you can use that.

– A tripod –
You need to be able to keep the camera completely motionless during a long exposure. A tripod is by far the most convenient way to achieve this.

– ND filters –
You will need the following – 1 x Hoya NDX400 (or another manufacturers equivalent)
and 1 x Hoya ND8 (or another manufacturers equivalent)

The ND8 is used in conjunction with the NDX400 to give you more flexibility on bright sunny days.
These ND filters screw onto the end of the lens. They have threads on both the front and rear sides so it’s possible to have more than one filter screwed onto the lens at any given time.

There are alternative filter systems available whereby you slide a filter into a holder mounted on the front of the lens but I wont be discussing those here because I don’t use them.

I recommend that you avoid using (or buying) variable ND filters since they create unwelcome artifacts at the dark end of the range. Don’t waste your money on one of these if you intend to use it at the dark end.

– A remote shutter release – (optional)
If you only want to create exposures no longer than 30 seconds then a remote shutter release is an optional piece of gear. A remote shutter release only becomes necessary if you want to make exposures longer than 30 seconds.

NDX400 ND400 ND8 -  Jim Worrall

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How do I compose the image through this black glass?
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With an NDX400 filter on the end of your lens the first thing you’ll notice when you look through the camera’s viewfinder is extreme darkness. Even in daylight it can be difficult to see much more than silhouettes.

The easy way to get around this problem is to use the camera’s “live view” mode and compose your scene using the LCD on the back of your camera. Live view allows you to see straight through the filter.

As an alternative, if you like to do things the more fiddly way you can compose your image using the viewfinder with the filter off, then screw it on when you’re ready to take the shot. The disadvantage of this method is that you are removing and then refitting the filter for each new composition. That means that you’re MUCH more likely to accidentally drop your filter.

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How can I get the camera to focus through black glass?
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In real world daylight conditions, when using live view, I find that my camera is able to focus correctly in most situations with the NDX400 screwed onto the lens. Focusing can become a bit more troublesome when both the NDX400 and ND8 are on. Your results may vary of course depending on the model of camera you have.

If your camera is having trouble focusing you can remove one or more of the filters then do a half press of the shutter button. When the focus locks onto the subject you can then switch the lens to manual focus (MF) and refit the filter/s. The focus now shouldn’t move unless you accidentally handle the lens and move the focus ring.

Precise focusing is not so critical when doing long exposures if you’re using a wide angle lens. The combination of a wide angle lens and a small aperture (high aperture number) give you an image with great depth of field. This means that both near and far objects are in focus. Precise focusing DOES however become critical when you’re using a telephoto lens since the depth of field is now inherently much narrower compared to using a wide angle lens at the same aperture setting.
In the real world if I’m shooting seascapes with my 10-20mm lens I generally don’t care where it’s focusing because the depth of field is enormous at high aperture numbers. Conversely if I’m using my 70-200mm then I become very fussy about getting the focus correct.

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How do I set up my camera for long exposures?
——————————————–

(The following procedure applies to exposures of 30 seconds or less.)

**Please note that it’s very important to block the viewfinder eyepiece to prevent light from leaking into your camera.**

1 – Screw the NDX400 onto the front of your lens.
2 – Select “2 second self timer” as your camera’s drive mode.
3 – Select your camera’s lowest ISO number. This will usually be 100 or perhaps 50 if you’re lucky.
two second timer - 100 ISO - Jim Worrall

4 – Put your camera into aperture priority mode and set your aperture to f/11 as a starting point.
Aperture Priority mode - Jim Worrall

Aperture Priority - f11 - iso 100 - Jim Worrall

5 – Select “live view mode” if your camera has it.
Select Live View - Jim Worrall

6 – With your scene composed the way you want it, half press the shutter button.
The camera should focus and calculate the exposure time for you.
If the camera doesn’t focus see the section above titled “How do I get the camera to focus through black glass?”

During the “half press” the exposure time should now be displayed somewhere on the camera’s LCD screen.
If you want to make the exposure time longer you can do this by increasing the aperture number.
If you want to make the exposure time shorter you can decrease the aperture number.

An alternative to cranking your aperture number up really high is to screw the ND8 filter onto the NDX400 which should already be mounted on the front of your lens.

7 – When you’re happy with the exposure time, complete a full press of the shutter button.
The camera should start the exposure in two seconds. That gives you time to get your hands off the camera and your body away from the tripod. The objective here is to disturb the camera as little as possible during the long exposure.

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What do I do if I don’t have “live view” mode available on my camera?
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You can use a similar procedure to the one described above with the exception that during the “half press” you will need to cover the viewfinder eyepiece to prevent light from entering.

If you do not cover the viewfinder eyepiece satisfactorily then light will enter the camera via the eyepiece during the “half press” and upset the camera’s exposure calculations. This will result in either black or very dark images.

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Troubleshooting – Why do my long exposure images look blurry or soft?
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Usually the problem is caused by movement of the camera or tripod during the long exposure.
If you’re in a windy environment such as an ocean beach, a howling wind can cause the tripod to vibrate and blur your images. In this case you need to find a way to dampen the vibration. In circumstances like this I usually hold onto the tripod during the exposure and use my weight to press down and dampen the vibrations as much as possible.
Always avoid having the neck of the tripod extended during strong winds as it makes the camera very susceptible to the wind.

On the subject of beaches, when you place your tripod on sand always push down as hard as you can to bed the tripod feet firmly. If you rest the tripod softly on the sand there’s every chance that it will slowly shift during your long exposure. This is particularly true at the water’s edge with waves lapping around the tripod feet.

Something else to be aware of is that smaller apertures (high aperture numbers) can make your images look slightly soft. I would encourage you to test your particular lens and camera combination to see how noticeable (or not noticeable) it is. Take a shot at say f/22 and another at f/11 and compare them to see if it’s a deal breaker for you.

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Troubleshooting – Why do my long exposure images look too dark?
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This is one of the most common questions I’m asked. If you’re shooting in any mode other than manual then chances are that the camera’s exposure system is being effected by unwanted light entering via the viewfinder eyepiece. Ordinarily this light would be negligible compared to the amount of light coming in through the front lens. When you put a very dark filter on the front lens this stray light coming in through the eyepiece becomes significant and has a major effect on the camera’s ability to calculate correct exposure.

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Troubleshooting – Why do my long exposure images have discoloured areas, bands, stripes or smears?
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The most common cause of such problems is light leaking into the camera through an uncovered eyepiece. Ensure that your camera’s eyepiece is adequately covered during long exposures to prevent leaks.

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Troubleshooting – Why do my long exposure images have some tiny brightly coloured dots?
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These bright coloured dots are often referred to as “hot pixels” or “stuck pixels”.
This is usually a temporary condition and the number of “hot pixels” tends to increase as the camera’s image sensor heats up. This can be a real problem if you have “live view” turned on for extended periods of time, particularly on warm or hot days. It’s a good idea to only have live view turned on immediately prior to taking your long exposure. The goal is to keep image sensor heating to a minimum.


Balnarring Beach Groynes

The groynes at Balnarring Beach serve to reduce erosion at the water’s edge. Most of the groynes are simply a line of posts connected together by planks creating a straight sea wall.
I was struggling to find something interesting on the beach then stumbled across this baby zig-zagging out into the bay.

Below – Zig Zag.
Balnarring Beach - Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - Australia - long exposure - ND400

Below – The usual straight groyne.
Balnarring Beach - Jim Worrall - Groyne - Western Port Bay - Australia

Below – The making of Zig Zag.
Using ND400 to simplify an image - Jim Worrall


Tenby Point – The Jetty and the Mangroves

We had arrived just in time. The high tide was starting to recede giving us easy access to the beach yet there was still enough water covering the base of the jetty posts.
If you arrive at this destination at the wrong time you’ll find sticks in mud.

Below – Two images of the Tenby Point jetty remnants.
Tenby Point Jetty - Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - Australia - storm clouds

Tenby Point Jetty - Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - Australia - ND400 - long exposure

Pictured below – On the way back to the car park the water had receded enough to reveal the tangled root system on this Tenby Point icon.

Tenby Point - mangrove -Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - ND400 - long exposure

Tenby Point - mangroves - Jim Worrall - Western Port Bay - ND400 - long exposure


Rye back beach – The Dragon’s Head and the Pod

A few images of the rock formations at the Number Sixteen beach at Rye.

Pictured below – The Dragon’s Head rock, initially named by a local with a fertile imagination.
Dragons head rock - Jim Worrall - Rye back beach - Australia - Mornington Peninsula

Below – The Pod, ….well I had to call it something since all of the good names like Dragon’s Head had already been snapped up.
The Pod - Jim Worrall - Rye beach - Sixteen - 16 - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Below – Water flows off the rocky plateaus returning to the ocean.
Click to enlarge.
Rye - Number Sixteen beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Below – A couple of images of my friend lining up his gear for the money shots.
Rye - Number Sixteen beach - 16 - Jim Worrall - Stephen Pretty - Mornington Peninsula - Australia

Rye - Number Sixteen beach - 16 - Jim Worrall - Stephen Pretty - Mornington Peninsula - Australia


Sorrento – A Mornington Peninsula Jewel

Some afternoon long exposure images from Sorrento back beach on the Mornington Peninsula, Australia. The foreground rocks are submerged at high tide and are gradually revealed as the tide goes out. A long exposure time is used to smooth out the ocean waves into a mist.
Sorrento beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia - ND400 - long exposure

Sorrento beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia - long exposure - ND400

Sorrento beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Australia - long exposure - ND400

Prints of these images are available at my Zazzle and Redbubble websites.


The Pinnacles Facebook Excursion – Phillip Island

In mid July I tried something new. I arranged a photography excursion to the Pinnacles at Phillip Island and posted the idea on Facebook as a public event. By August 4th, the day of the excursion, there were 16 people confirmed as going and a few more “maybes”.

Mist in the Pinnacles - Jim Worrall - Phillip Island - Australia - long exposure - ND400

I had a realistic expectation that perhaps half of those who had confirmed would actually show up on the day. Imagine my surprise when all who had confirmed actually DID show up at the meeting place.
It was the start of a wonderful excursion with like-minded people, most of whom I had never actually met before and I only knew via Facebook.

Pinnacles - Jim Worrall - Phillip Island - Australia - long exposure - ND400

We couldn’t have asked for a better day in the middle of a Melbourne winter. Both the weather and tides worked in our favour and all of the participants seemed to come away from the day pleased with the experience.

Pinnacles - Jim Worrall - Phillip Island - Australia

Following are snapshots of some of the participants enjoying the day at the Pinnacles beach. If you have a Facebook account you can view more images from the event here.

Pinnacles excursion participant

Pinnacles excursion participant

Pinnacles excurion participants

Pinnacles excursion participant

Pinnacles excursion participant

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Catching the Instagram Train

The photography community seems to be polarized over the use of phone cameras and associated filter programs such as Instagram.
I must admit to being slow to travel down the “phone and filter” path and have only recently decided to give it a go to see what all the noise is about.

Since giving it a trial run I must admit that the use of Instagram and other similar programs has reintroduced a fresh and fun aspect to my photography.

Pictured below – Rye Pier.
Rye Pier - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Instagram

I find it refreshingly simple to just pull out my phone, click, process and even publish the image so quickly.
I also enjoy being forced to rethink my compositions into a square format after being conditioned by years of using a 3×2 SLR format.

Pictured below – A foggy morning at Tooradin foreshore.
Foggy Morning at Tooradin - Jim Worrall - Instagram

Admittedly I’ve had to resist the urge to “pixel peep” at the noise and visual anomalies created by some of the clunky filters.
This will never replace my SLR photography but I reckon it will complement it nicely. Phone photography has definitely introduced a fresh fun aspect to my photo life.

Pictured below – Mt Martha beach.
Mt Martha beach - Jim Worrall - Mornington Peninsula - Instagram


Thunder in the Air – Outdoor Dunny

This is an image I captured during an excursion through northern Victoria quite some time ago. At the time I didn’t bother to post it in my blog because I didn’t think there would be much interest in it.
Boy was I wrong, …this is currently one of the best selling images on my Zazzle site.

Who would of thunk it?

Thunder in the Air
Thunder in the Air - outdoor dunny - toilet - latrine - thunder box - Jim Worrall

The image is available as a high quality print at my Zazzle and RedBubble sites.


Storm at Powlett River

On the way back home from a recent excursion to Cape Liptrap we stopped off at the mouth of the Powlett River.
I had just enough time to catch this image before the rain started to pour down hard.

Storm at Powlett River
Storm at Powlett River - Jim Worrall - Australia