Technique & Approach #18 - ND Filter - Comparison

A while back I arose before sparrow fart and headed off to the coast at Sandgate/ Shorncliffe. 

Unfiltered - Aperture priority f/8 (ish), 100 speed Ilford, 28mm (manual focus set to infinity)

Unfiltered - Aperture priority f/8 (ish), 100 speed Ilford, 28mm (manual focus set to infinity)

Variable ND +9 - full manual - f/8, 30sec, 100 speed Ilford, 28mm (manual focus set to infinity)

Variable ND +9 - full manual - f/8, 30sec, 100 speed Ilford, 28mm (manual focus set to infinity)

Either photo has it's own qualities. Both are the same setting, the only difference is the use of an ND filter. Blocking out more light allowing for a much longer shutter duration, the result? Blurred lines. Drama, a cinematic look, I guess. The extreme vignetting comes also from the ND filter and wide angle lens. Both photos are straight from developer / scanner.

A tripod and cable release was used for both and is highly recommended in low light and especially when doing long exposures (< 1/20th). Manfrotto is my preferred brand.

Shot Ilford 100, Canon A1, Sigma 28mm.

Purchased from BH Photo Video New York. They stock a range of photographic accessories. Including filters, film, tripods, etc.

Purchased from BH Photo Video New York. They stock a range of photographic accessories. Including filters, film, tripods, etc.

Technique & Approach #14

Rarely I will 'edit' my photographs. I think it's only been of recent that I've been a bit more critical in analysing my work. From a technical point of view, in this case wide angle lens distortion. It would be wonderful to invest in a more complex photographic apparatus, but with a few tweaks (occasionally) you can correct any technical errors (mostly). The alternative is a tilt-shift lens. There are so many options for both film and digital, but for now, I'm sticking with what I have.

In the example below, is the original image photographed with a 28mm Prime lens. You'll notice around the edges there is a slight twist. Starting from the centre and heading outwards, the image bends. This is due to the natural distortion from the lens. The lower the number, the wider the angle of view is, and vertical lines will generally distort as you get closer to the edges. Hence why it is often recommended not to photograph close-ups of people with a wide (less than 50mm) lens as you'll get a 'fishbowl' effect. Sometimes this can work if that's is what you're aiming towards artistically, however in this case, I opted for something a little more 'optically' correct. This can be adjusted using 'lens correction' in Photoshop CC.

Most the time I enjoy using a wide lens for architecture and finding a 'line' to use as a reference point / guide for the final photograph. In this case, a wide lens is perfect. Much practice.

As a reference point, the red lines define key areas of lens distortion. Both vertically and horizontally. As you follow the vertical lines, the vertical lines in the photograph bend inwards. Horizontally there is a slight bend downwards.

As a reference point, the red lines define key areas of lens distortion. Both vertically and horizontally. As you follow the vertical lines, the vertical lines in the photograph bend inwards. Horizontally there is a slight bend downwards.

The final image with lens distortion corrected and a crop to throw out some unnecessary environmental elements which don't assist in the telling of the story behind the photograph / distractions.

If you would like to learn more, please check out my other entries on "Technique & Approach". I also offer Personal Learning Sessions, find out here