Monday, March 23, 2009

Seascapes and Long Shutter speed

Have you ever wondered how to create a dramatic seascape with smooth wet rocks and magical misty waves?
In low light, early or late in the day are the best times (or try an overcast day with a neutral density filter), you are able to use your camera´s slow shutter speed which you need for the blurring effect on the moving parts of your subject.
O.K this is what you have to do:
  • Check out a tide table, best time for those pictures is around high tide, you want parts of the foreground features submerged on and off by incoming waves but be careful and gather some knowledge about that particular part of beach...
  • Make sure you have wellies or decent walking boots on as the water will suddenly spring up sometimes.
  • Place your tripod on rocks or steady ground ,it sinks slightly in sand and your image is lost. Wash the tripod legs after shooting , the salt in the seawater can do severe damage to all kind of materials.
Now, your camera needs to be set at Manual Setting:
  • First choose the smallest aperture and ISO possible, say f/22 and ISO 100,
  • Your camera´s inbuilt light meter will tell you what time to set for shutterspeed.
  • Now focus one third into the scene and to avoid camera shake use self timer or timer remote controller.
  • Go out and try several shots and compare afterwards, in time you will get practice and be more confident with your manual settings.
My photo of Keel Strand in St. Finian´s Bay was taken with f/22; ISO100 and a shutterspeed of 3.2 seconds.