Category: Long Exposure

Recently I was able to get a lot of Formatt Hitech gear that meant I could teach people how to do long exposure photography. I had found that many people who were doing the one on ones with me were really interested in the long exposure more, so I realised it was something that I should start teaching. I now have two options.
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The other day I went out with a friend and we had a whole day planned of what we were going to do. Then once we got there we found that the waterfall we had planned on photographing had almost no water. We have had a very dry summer and with little water the waterfalls are drying up.

We had to come up with another plan quickly. It was overcast, very much so, and not far from the waterfall was the Lorne Pier. We had our filters with us, so it seemed the logical place to go, head there for some long exposures.

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It was a good spot for about 15 minutes and then the clouds parts and the sun came out. Just our luck. I tried to do more, but it wasn’t long before I knew I wouldn’t get anything else.

We headed back inland, but you will have to wait for the photos from there.

After a massive walk we went for lunch at one of our favourite places in Lorne, The Bottle of Milk. They do great burgers and the most amazing chips (fries), I know Martha would love them.  We decided to try Dog Rocks. We had been there once before, but it was on a clear hot day, so not good for photography. It was getting to the end of the day and on the way home.

When we got there the sun was going down and then the most amazing sun rays appeared.

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This is quite a famous tree around Geelong and you can pretty much bet every photographer around there has photographed it. It is hard to take an image that everyone else hasn’t, but when I saw those rays, I knew I could get something that would be more unique. I tried to do it so the rays appeared to be coming out of the tree.

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This was actually taken before the other one. The rays weren’t as prominent, but still there. I processed this image a little differently. I also took out much of the colour.  I like that look more.

For a day that didn’t seem to go to plan, I was really happy with what I got. It was lots of surprises and some gems.

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One of the things that I have really been enjoying has been looking at photos that were done a while ago. Being fairly new to Instagram, or should I say being more serious about it has meant that I am always looking for images, and going through old ones has been great. I get to revisit and show them again.

This last week I’ve been looking at some of my long exposures.

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The Pinnacles on Phillip Island

This image I took over a year ago, but have only just got around to processing this one. I did it in monochrome as I thought it would work better. I think it was a good choice.

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Pier at Davey’s Bay down near Frankston

This is one that I did and I’ve just re shown it. I was okay with the way I processed it the first time.

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Pier at Davey’s Bay down near Frankston

This is one I showed previously, but I reworked it. I wanted to do more to the sky.

Thanks to Instagram I am getting to see lots of photos again.  If you want to follow my Instagram account, click here.

Dockands at Sunset

In the last week I’ve spent several hours at Docklands here in Melbourne, on separate days teaching people how to do long exposure photography. It has been quite interesting showing people how to do it and use the filters. It is not something that I ever considered that people would want from me, or want me to teach them.

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A long exposure of docklands taken in the middle of the day.

Long exposure photography is very popular and it seems that lots of people want to learn how to do it. There is something very surreal about the images that you get. It is a lovely type of photography and one that I am totally in love with. It can completely transform the scene in front of you and for the work that I find myself wanting to do, it is perfect.

I am now in the position where I have enough gear that I can teach people how to do long exposures.  I have two brackets and quite a few filters. The next question is do people want to pay me to learn.

Dockands at Sunset

A long exposure taken at sunset.

There are so many places around Melbourne to do long exposures and I think teaching people how would be great.

I have some thoughts on time, maybe a two hour class for $250.  The other option is a three hour class for $350.

You would need a camera that you can use on manual with a bulb setting, a tripod, and remote shutter release. I have everything else you would need to experiment and try out taking photos.

I guess the next question is how do I find the people who want to learn how to do it. I will have to start using my Instagram account, see if that actually works.

I’ve also noticed that there is another one of those, supposedly great deals on at the moment, pay $87 for $1900 worth of stuff. All to do with business marketing for the photographer. Could be worth it. I am contemplating getting it. If you are interested here is the link, 5DayDeal.

If you are in Melbourne and do want to learn long exposure photography from me then send me an email.

As I usually do with long exposures images I started by making the image of the Eureka Tower monochrome, then I wondered what it would be like with a touch of colour. The gold windows at the top of the tower make it such a distinctive building and every time you see them you know which building you are looking at.

As I said, it was a long exposure. Taken with the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 Nd Filter. It was a six minute exposure that I did last weekend.

1st State

Here is the monochrome version.

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I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong with this image, but it does tend to look like a lot of other images done the same way.

2nd State

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In the end I decided that while I didn’t mind the majority of the image being monochrome, I did want the top bit to show the gold and the little strip of red. I like the touch of colour and think it makes the image more interesting.

Being Featured

On another note, but along the same lines, I wanted to let you know that I am now a featured artist on the Formatt Hitech website. It has been such an honour to be featured and I feel in very good company when I see the work of others there. You can check out my page here, Leanne Cole.

I do love their filters and I never have a problem promoting them. I keep hearing from others how much they love them too. I find I am using them more and more as well, and now I’m starting to get asked to teach people as well, that’s nice.

Long exposure photography seems to be becoming something I am doing a lot. I know it is important for my art work and you will be seeing a lot more of it in the future.

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Sometimes you can get two images, or process one two ways and then not decide which is better. Or, as often happens with me, I like one, but everyone else seems to like the other one. I wasn’t sure what to do about this one. It seems on Google+ people like one, but on Facebook they like the other one. So I thought it would be nice to put them both up here and see what you think.

The image is a long exposure I did of the city. I used the Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 Neutral Density Filter and it was a four minute exposure.

Image 1

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I put a brown kind of tone over it and then decided that I didn’t really like it. I thought it made it look dirty.

Image 2

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I removed the brown tone and made the centre a little brighter.

I like the second one more as I like the steel look. It is colder and perhaps has a hotter look.

So the choices are there, which one do you like the most.

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In Melbourne there are many bridges that allow you to cross the river. Some are for cars, and many for pedestrians and bicycles. One bridge that is one of my favourites to photograph is the Seafarers Bridge where it goes over the Yarra.

One Viewseafarers-bridge-yarra-river-melbourneThe things that go over are like ribs of a ship or a sail. It is like our mini opera house. There are so many angles to experiment with. This image is also a long exposure. I’ve really only done long exposures here once, but it is definitely a place I want to do more.

Another View

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This is from the other side. I’ve began to realize that I need to explore the angles a lot more.

One of the downsides with this bridge is how popular it is and there are always people on it, or so it seems at times. This is where the advantage of doing a long exposure comes in. If you can get a long enough time then you can get photos so that the people don’t show up. It is something that really interests me with long exposures.

I’ve been using the Formatt Hitech Filters, and the one I especially love is the Firecrest 16. I’ve now got several of their filters, and the full ND filters are the ones I like the most. I have the 6 , the 10 and the 16 stop, I just need to get the 13 and I will have the full set. I really like their filters.

The next thing to get is the filter holder and maybe the 10 stop to start with for my Nikon 14-24mm. I would love to be able to do some long exposure photography with that lens. That is next on the list.

I just keep wanting to go into the city and take photos these days. I find it so satisfying. The more I do it the more I can understand what sort of scenes I want to shoot. I have a purpose in mind and I can see that it is becoming a reality, if that is the right way of putting it.

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Trying to put up fresh photos every day, or rather at least one is a challenge. I’m lucky I have lots of photos that I can go back and use, but still, sometimes when looking for one you see something in another that you hadn’t noticed before. Then again sometimes there is a series of images that you hadn’t considered making one of, like this one of the New York night lights.

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This image is done with four images to give more light trails from the boats going past. It is a process I have done before. It is also something that I had thought of doing a tutorial on. So if you are interested in learning how to do this, let me know and I will prepare one.

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Long exposure photography is very popular now. I really enjoy doing them and experimenting to see what I can do. I recently got a new filter, the Formatt Hitech 10 stop filter.  I already had the Lee Big Stopper, but I have really liked all the other Formatt Hitech filters I have so it seemed logical to get their 10 stop as well. I wasn’t disappointed.

This image was taken with the Lee filter.

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There is nothing wrong with how the Lee filter worked, but it does tend to give your image a blue cast. Admittedly very easy to fix.

This was a long exposure I took at the Dragon’s head at number 16 beach at Rye. I took it a couple of months ago and I have processed other photos from that day, but I did all of those in black and white. I looked at this image and thought it might be nice to try it in colour. I like how it has come out and a friend told me it was in my colours, which I thought was an interesting comment, do I have my own colour scheme?

Yesterday we did a big day along the back beaches. Crazy time to do it really as it is holiday time and that whole area, the Mornington Peninsula, is full of people. It was hard to find somewhere for lunch, but thankfully these beaches are no good for swimming so we could take photos. We found a new spot, Spray Point and we will be going back there, take a look why.

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Lots and lots of rock shelves. The tide was just starting to come back in. I’ve been loaned the Nikon 28-300mm lens and used it for all my photos yesterday. I had no desire to change lenses, I didn’t feel I needed to. I like that I can do wide and zoom in with it. It is a very versatile lens.

I used the Formatt Hitech 10 stop for this one. I didn’t want a complete long exposure as I really like being able to see the water moving, or how it did move. I described to someone how I was doing semi long exposures.  The new filter was great and I didn’t notice any colour casting at all. I have to say I was very happy with it, I think I found my new favourite filter.

My new Merrell shoes that I can walk in the water with are still a favourite. I love that I can just walk straight in and get shots. Of course the water wasn’t very high, and when the tide started coming in I had to be careful.  Still it was nice not to have to run out of the water because a wave came in.

A very successful day out I think. I really enjoyed the company and met some other great photographers that were out taking photos as well.