As my 10 stop ND filter experiment continues, part 2 takes place at the beach during sunset, which isn’t the best idea for using a 10 stop ND filter, but on that a little later.
I waited for a good cloudy day, so I can go out and get some good sunset shots at the beach. As far as I know and from images I’ve seen online, the combination of water plus clouds plus a 10 stop ND filter should give pretty explosive results, so that was my hope and plan 😉
I didn’t have to venture too far as I live 5 minutes from the beach in Tel Aviv, so when the time came, I was there, and as I mentioned in part 1, this time I remembered to take a regular exposure so that I can show you the difference the 10 stop filter has.
So here is the first image:
Sony NEX-7 | ISO 100 | f20 | 2.0 Seconds | No Filter
Sony NEX-7 | ISO 100 | f13 | 59.0 Seconds | 10 Stop ND Filter
As you can see, the 10 stop ND filter sure affects. With that said, when I was looking at the result on camera I wasn’t blown away, and I really didn’t think I can do much with this image as it seems to be real dark around the edges, but thanks to the fact that I was shooing RAW files and after some post-processing work in Lightroom this is the final result:
A big difference 🙂
Although it does look much better than I thought it would when I first loaded the image into Lightroom, it is far from perfect. If you dive into the image, you can see the color cast caused by the filter and all the noise at the edges where it was really dark, so bringing those areas back did some damage.
And here is the second image:
Sony NEX-7 | ISO 100 | f16 | 3.2 Seconds | No Filter
Sony NEX-7 | ISO 100 | f11 | 181 Seconds | 10 Stop ND Filter
The second image was taken 18 minutes after the first one, and as you can see, I needed 3 times the exposure time to get a decent image. That’s how fast the light goes out at sunset here in Israel 🙂
Just as with the first image, I wasn’t planning on getting much out of this image from what I saw on camera and inside Lightroom after I imported it, but RAW files and Lightroom is a strong combination, and you can really do wonders:
Same issues here with the color cast and the noise around the edges as in the first image. I cannot do much about the color cast other than buying a better filter and about the noise; II can go for longer exposures next time e so I won’t have such dark areas in the image.
So why shooing with a 10 stop ND filter at sunset isn’t a good idea…
The thing about using a 10 stop ND filter during sunset is that it might be a little too much. Especially if the sunset ends in a matter of 20 minutes (give or take a few minutes).
As you see above, I used a 181 seconds exposure in the 2nd image, which is 3 minutes. So if the entire sunset takes around 20 minutes, then you really don’t have too much time for experiments, and you have to get your composition spot-on real fast, and you don’t have time to wander around to look for a better angle or anything.
You need to be ready in advance and know exactly what you’re looking for so you won’t waste time setting up and testing because before you know it, the sun is gone 🙂
Got questions? Remarks? Anything else to add? Please feel free to add them in the comments below. If not, I’ll see you in part 3 😉