Experiments with 10-stop ND filter – Part 1

The blog title seems as though I’m starting a series of blog posts – well, I hope to. For now, this was the first time I took my B+W 10-stop ND filter out for a spin. Having never used such a filter, it was purely an experimental outing to Lalbagh to try and learn to use the filter well.

Using a filter this dark means you cannot put the filter on and then start to compose and focus. So, each shot involves the following (at least, this is what I followed):

    • Compose and focus the shot without the filter on (need a tripod), in Aperture or Shutter-Priority mode – note down the aperture and shutter speed.
    • Put filter on, Turn off auto-focus on lens/camera, Switch to manual mode.
    • Set aperture to what you noted above.
    • Use an app like Nd-Calc, input the shutter speed noted above to derive the shutter speed necessary with the 10-stop filter on – typically you’ll need the “bulb” mode.
    • Use a shutter-release cable/IR remote to expose the shot for the necessary time duration.

For a new shot, one would need to remove the filter and repeat the steps above. With so much involved for each shot, it kinda forces me to think and plan my shots more. Its good to slow down now and then. The long exposures needed with the filter on, gives you an opportunity to actually look at your surroundings and enjoy them better than if you’d gone on a shooting spree 🙂

Here are a few images from today morning. With winter at its peak, the skies were very clear with no clouds whatsoever. ND filters are better used when there are dynamic elements in an image – moving clouds, streaming water, etc. In this sense, today (this season) was not an ideal outing – hence the hope for better representative images in the next part(s) 🙂

Kempegowda tower, Lalbagh

Kempegowda tower, Lalbagh

Breaking dawn at Lalbagh

Breaking dawn at Lalbagh

 

2 Comments

  1. Sdarshan A

    Lovely…. Awesome Pics brother.. 🙂

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