Thursday, February 10, 2011


Day 41/365: High Tide

Edit Info:
- Tint and temperature adjusted in Camera RAW
- Brightness/Contrast, Saturation, Spot Removal, Crop & Sharpening in PS

Today, I went to the beach to capture a daytime long exposure at a spot I saw a few weeks ago. I didn't have the tools to capture it then and when I went back today, the high tide covered the entire area. So I captured this area instead. This shot was taken with a shade 8 welding glass filter lens as a neutral density filter.

If you don't want to spend the money to buy a neutral density filter just yet or if you just want to experiment, welding glass is a very cheap way to go.  This idea is not new.  It's been floating around the internet for sometime now.  That's how I found it!

To the right is a photo of the shade 8 welding glass I purchased from a welding supply shop in town. Don't even bother looking in the hardware stores or home improvement stores because they had no idea what I was talking about. They can be found in welding supplies shops or ebay. They range from shades 5 (lightest) to 14 (darkest). I also had to refer to them as a "glass filter lens" because when I asked about welding glass, I got the common, "Huh?"  They range from between $3 - $5 depending on where you get them from.

As you can see, the welding glass is very dark so you won't be able to compose your shot through the viewfinder with the welding glass on.  I used the welding glass on my wide angle lens.  I turned the wide angle lens hood backwards and positioned it over the lens then I secured the welding glass to the hood using two rubber of each side of the glass and hooked around the petals on the lens hood.  When the camera was positioned at a sloping angle, I used a third rubber band across the top of the welding glass and pulled it back to stretch around the body of the camera.  I got the setup from felt_tip_felon on Flickr.

Depending on the brand of the glass, you'll end up with a purple or green tint on the actual photo so you'll have to adjust the tint and temperature settings in Camera RAW (or other RAW editing tool) to get the correct settings.  You can tell what tint it will be by holding your welding glass up to the sun.  Whatever color the sun is through your welding glass is what color tint will be on your photo.  After that was done, I cropped the photo, applied sharpening to the rocks only, and adjusted the brightness/contrast and saturation.  Viola!  Daytime long exposure made simple and cheap!

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