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. 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.
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.
Back on the road again and this time we’re headed from Corner Brook to King’s Point. Before leaving the Corner Brook area we went to check out Lark Harbour, a small cove surrounded by mountains. A small overlook is part of a trail system called Cedar Cove.
Cedar Cove Trail
King’s Point is a town north of Springdale in the central part of the island. After checking into our rooms we decided drive up the peninsula before heading to dinner. Heading north we found a couple different rocky beaches before getting into the town of Harry’s Harbour. There we met a gentleman who told us to climb down a short path to a small beach where a sea stack stood with its lone tree.
We couldn’t believe our luck! After spending about an hour here exploring the beach we knew we had to get back to the hotel to get some dinner in us but as we pulled up we decided to explore the area before the beautiful light vanished for the day.
The late day sun was spectacular and during dinner a small rain shower appeared and we were shown a double rainbow. I think Newfoundland was tempting us to stay.
Nigel, Paul and I headed down to Fort Erie this morning in the hopes of photographing a lighthouse that is normally closed off to visitors in the winter months. Unfortunately we were one weekend too early to get onto the grounds unless we paid for a group tour. We decided against this and went to explore the Erie shoreline instead.
I had done some online research to see what was in the area and I came upon a photo of a beautiful ruin of the Crystal Beach Amusement Park. As it turned out it had been demolished for years. How did I miss this? Absolutely no clue. Maybe it was that I didn’t do enough research. We were just not having a lot of luck with structures today. So we continued along the shoreline and did find some remnants of certain sections of the park, closed back in 1989.
We continued along the shoreline into the Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-lake before deciding to call it quits for the day. While on the way home we decided to stop at 50 point pier to photograph the old piers.
As you know, I’ve been here a lot but it still makes for an interesting subject. Sometimes its good to revisit a place over and over as things will always be different each time.
Winter is a tough season for me. I don’t do any winter sports so I find that when the snow arrives and the cold is almost unbearable I just want to snuggle up in front of the television, ignore what’s happening outside and hope that summer arrives soon. Problem is that it can be one of the prettiest seasons to photograph. So that means I have to put on layers of clothes, get into the chilly car with all my gear, get to the place I want to photograph and trudge through some rough weather. “It must be done” I keep telling myself and in the end it was worth it.
I love photographing at the piers in Grimsby but especially so in winter. The ice that builds up creates even more texture and interest. I kept things simple by processing these photos as a monotone.
Snow Capped Piers
Dave Hook came out with me this morning and we had a blast photographing at the piers. We did have one more stop in mind though – the Erb Grist Mill, located in Waterloo. This replica of the 1816 mill was built in 1998 and stands overlooking a small cascade.
MIll and Waterfall
One of the tough things about shooting this mill is that you are in the centre of town so you have to contend with traffic, modern buildings and overhead wires. It takes some patience and maybe a little post processing to deal with these but the effort can be worthwhile. Overall a great day shooting even with the cold weather.
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.
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
It’s always tough to get night shots when large cities are around. The piers are no exception. With Hamilton in one direction…
…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.