I think this is the first time since beginning this blog I’ve broken from my Photo of the Month tradition. Its not really for lack of wanting. The truth is, I have had trouble deciding on just one image.
Instead I’ve decided to share a few new images that I’ve been working on, all with a common theme: long exposure. In the right situation, a long exposure provides extra time for either the camera to move, or elements within the frame to move (like clouds or water), adding unique drama to a scene.
First, I recently purchased an 8-stop neutral density filter. I’ve wanted one for quite a while, after seeing some great long exposure work from other photographers. Mac Danzig has a great tutorial/informational blog post on them here. I waited for a stormy morning with dramatic skies to try it out at a local beach, with some great rock formations. The rock in the second image reminds me of a molar from a Pleistocene-epoch carnivore…
In addition to letting the scene move, interesting effects can also be achieved by moving the camera while the shutter is open. Zoom blurs have become more popular over the last few years, but I added another element. In addition to zooming the lens during the exposure, I also rotated the camera. The subject I chose to try this out on is California buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum foliolosum); I have always loved the fall color palette of this plant, but haven’t been able to make an image of I like. Finally, with this technique–although it won’t appeal to everyone–I feel like I’ve gotten the colors to blend in a way that’s appealing to me.
Looking out my window, I think autumn may have finally come to southern California! I hope you have a great November; in the U.S. its a time we give thanks for many things–what are you thankful for this month?