When Nothing Goes Right

I was out again today with my friend Nigel in the hopes of getting some good images at 50 Point Pier, but it seems as though Mother Nature may have had some plans of her own and they didn’t include us getting good photos.

Pier Piles

When we got down to the pier all we saw was sand and dirty snow/ice buildup along the shore. The most photogenic thing I found was this lone feather in the sand.

Feather in the Sand

Yup, that’s it. That was the extent of what I was able to find, and it still wasn’t inspiring. Maybe Mother Nature will be nicer on our next trip out.

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!

Piers & Pirate Ships

Dave Hook, Paul Berkloo and myself decided to try out some night shoots at the old beached ship at Jordan Station. This ship has been beached close to the marina for as long as I can remember. I thought i would be neat to try to get some night shots of the ship this time around and the guys were pretty excited about the idea too. We got there early enough to do some test shots and explore the area for some interesting compositions.



As soon as the stars started showing up I turned my attention to the ship. Using my 15mm lens to get the full ship in the shot I was pretty happy with the results and it was hard to choose my favourite one.

Lost Ship

Lost Ship

After exhausting every angle of the ship we decided to head home but not before one quick stop – 50 point pier.

The Pier at Night

The Pier at Night

It’s always tough to get night shots when large cities are around. The piers are no exception. With Hamilton in one direction…

Pier Dreams

Pier Dreams

…and Toronto in the other you will always have a glow. Although not always a bad thing it is always good to know that these will appear in your shots.