A Study in Long Exposure

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve gone out to photograph and today with the sky overcast I thought it would be a good time to head back to 50 Point Pier for some moody photos. I brought along my 10x ND filter to get my experiment on.

ND or neutral density filters are like sunglasses for your camera. The filter can be either screwed on to the front of your lens or it can slide in front of your lens with the help of a filter holder (sold separate from the filter, lens or camera). When placed on the lens it reduces the amount of light getting in to your camera’s sensor. 

Pier without the ND filter

Pier without the ND filter. Shutter speed 1/6th of a second

 There are different densities of filters. Some are only slightly tinted while others are more tinted. The different levels of tints allow you to shoot slower shutter speeds or open your aperture depending on what you are looking to accomplish with your photos.

Why would you want a longer shutter speed? When allowing your shutter to be open longer anything moving in your scene will essentially smooth out as shown in the photograph below.

50 point pier with 10x ND Filter. Shutter speed 87 seconds

You’ll notice in the photo above that the colours are very different from the photo at the very beginning of this post. ND filters are supposed to be a neutral grey colour, however, they usually tend to have a little colour in them. This colour becomes more prominent when shooting a long exposure. You will notice the one I use shifts the colour toward a more purple shade. This is because there is a little purple in the grey tone of my filter. 

50 point pier in Black and White. Shutter speed 15 seconds

One way to get rid of this colour shift is to create beautiful black and white images. Of course, if you are shooting in RAW you will be able to adjust the colour in your post processing to create the look you want.

Photography is all about experimenting and having a little fun. Most people don’t usually have a 10x ND filter but have one of the more common ones like a 3x or 6x. You are the artist so you decide which one works best for you.

Happy Experimenting!

Early Mornings and Late Nights

We decided to stay in Lion’s Head rather than in Tobermory this year, just for a change in pace. The decision ended up being a good one since our B&B was so close to a harbour with a picturesque view of sailboats in view of the morning sunrise. We knew we had to get up early to take advantage of this.

Sunrise at Lion's Head

Sunrise at Lion’s Head

The sunrise did not disappoint and neither did the view.

After the sun rose over the marina we headed back to our B&B and dug in to a well deserved breakfast. With our bellies full we were ready to conquer a hike on the Bruce Trail.

Driftwood on the rocky shoreline.

Driftwood on the rocky shoreline.

It turned out to be a great day with clear sunny skies and a bit of breeze as we hiked along with shoreline of Georgian Bay. I made sure to get really low on the shot above to make the driftwood seem much larger than it really was. Changing your point of view can dramatically change your photo results. Give it a try next time you’re out.

Lakeside Daisy

Lakeside Daisy

As we were driving back to the B&B we noticed an area filled with Lakeside daisies, so you know we had to stop and get some photos. Again I decided to get very low for this shot. The daisies are very short at only a couple inches so shooting down on them would not have given me the photo I was looking for.

Back at the B&B we got in a short nap before dinner and then it was time to prepare for a late night shoot. My main goal for this trip was to focus on improving my skills in astrophotography. One of the things I wanted to try was a panoramic to capture the full Milky Way across Little Cove.

Milky Way at Dave's Bay

Milky Way at Dave’s Bay

It looks to me as though I may have captured some northern lights. It was a beautiful Way to end a great day on the shores of Georgian Bay.

Duck Displays

After spending a couple hours taking photos of Santa and loads of children at work, I decided to stop by Humber Bay to get photos of the local water birds. It was beautiful weather – the sun was out and the temps were on the warmer side for early December.

Mallard taking a break

Mallard taking a break

The ducks were out in force. I’m not sure if that was the weather or if they always congregate here. It is a secluded spot and great shelter if the weather does turn. I just never suspected there to be so many of them.

male bufflehead

Bufflehead – male

There were so many types of ducks here. Its the most I’ve seen here at one time. There were Buffleheads, Gadwells, Hooded Mergansers and, of course, Mallards along with a few others.

Gadwell

Gadwell

The male mergansers were putting on quite the show. I’m not sure if they were trying to impress the ladies or just fighting between themselves. Whatever they were doing the ladies were unimpressed.

Merganser couple

Merganser couple

By the end of the day I had way too many photos of the ducks and it was time to get these photographs into the computer to see what I had captured.

A Ghost Town

We were still four hours from home but we wanted to stop at Depot Harbour before we pulled into our homes and got back to reality. There apparently is a ghost town located on the island.

Rose Point

Nuthatch

While driving to our destination we stopped just off the road to get a photo of the small harbours. I loved how calm it looked with its overcast skies.

After some driving around at Depot Harbour we finally found what we were looking for – an old ghost town.

Ghost Town

Ghost Town

Some history on the site: Back in 1890 John Booth created the town of Depot Harbour to move his lumber to the area now known as Algonquin Park via a railway that was taken over by CNR in 1918. In 1993 the railway was damaged by a spring ice floe and was never repaired, bringing less and less ships to Depot Harbour. In 1945, the shops stopped arriving and by 1964 the town was abandoned. You can still see remnants of the old buildings (as shown in the photo above). Depot Harbour is the largest Ontario town to become a ghost town.

Permission to view the site must be obtained from the Wasauksing First Nations Band Office.

Old Woman Bay

Our second day in Wawa before heading out to Lake Superior Provincial Park we stopped at the iconic goose statute located on the edge of town. This goose is huge! I’m standing at its base as it looms over me.

Wawa Goose

Wawa Goose

Our first stop in the park was back to Old Woman’s Bay. Our hope was to see some substantial waves that the area boasts about this time of year. We were a little unlucky on that front as the waves coming in were on the smaller side but look at that beautiful light.

Old Woman Bay

Old Woman Bay

We did see some remnants of trees that looked like they’d been tossed about by those elusive large waves.

We had a couple stops planned today and one that we hiked up to was Sand Falls. While on our hike it started big fluffy snowflakes fell from the sky.

Above Lower Sand Falls

Above Lower Sand Falls

We wanted to try to get a photograph of the sunset as the skies decided to clear a little later in the day. We raced down to Sandy Beach just as the sun was hitting the edge of the horizon. I quickly shot this photo as I got out of the car.

Sunset at Sandy Beach

Sunset at Sandy Beach

Overall a great day in the park exploring. With one more day left to explore we are still hoping to find some of those waves.