This past weekend we put out clocks back to standard time here in the USA. The ritual that, for many, confirms autumn is here and winter is just around the corner.
Around this time last year, I was traveling in Maine and I took this photograph of a waterfall in Acadia National Park.
Much as I like hiking, it’s been a long time since I’ve hiked all day or more. These days I confine myself to a few hours at a stretch (yes, I need to lose 50 lbs).
But for this photo I had to hike about 100 feet from the nearest pull-off on Park Loop Road and walk into the woods ten feet at most.
The photo location is about half way between Bubble Pond and the Cadillac Mountain Road.
This image is looking to the east. The stream flows on below the Park Loop Road and down into Eagle Lake.
With my camera mounted on my tripod, I used my Canon 24-105mm lens at 40mm. ISO was 100 and exposure was 5 seconds at f16.
So how do you get that long a drag on the shutter? You use a neutral density filter – in this case a variable ND filter from Singh-Ray.
These devices are not particularly cheap (I have the ‘thin’ version for wide-angle lenses that sells at the time of this post for $390 (US)) but I’d rather just carry the one ND filter in my bag and the Vari-ND from Singh-Ray gives me 2 to 8 stops of added density.
To make sure I got what I was looking for, I bracketed around the exposure suggested by the camera (since I don’t carry a light meter either).
The image has been processed in Lightroom and the new Color Efex Pro 4 from Nik Software.
I’ve only recently invested in the Nik Software products. Below is a conversion of this image to black-and-white using Silver Efex Pro 2.
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II (B&H)
Battery Grip: Canon BG-E6 Battery Grip (B&H)
Lens: Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM AF Lens (B&H)
Filter: Singh-Ray 77mm (Thin Mount) Vari-ND Variable Neutral Density Filter (B&H)
Tripod: Gitzo GT3531 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs – Supports 39.6 lbs (18kg) (B&H)
Ball Head: BH-55 LR: Full-sized ballhead with LR (Really Right Stuff)
Processing: Lightroom 3 (B&H)
Processing: Nik¤Software Color Efex Pro 4 Complete Edition (B&H)
Processing: Nik¤Software Silver Efex Pro 2 Software (B&H)
Note, the complete collection of Nik Software may be better value than buying the pieces separately depending upon what your objective are: Nik¤Software Complete Collection Software Plug-in for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture (B&H)