A long exposure shot from the beach at The Pinnacles rock formation, Cape Woolamai, Phillip Island.
Technical stuff – 30 secs f/10 ISO50 using an ND500 filter.
The image above is available to purchase as a print in many forms and sizes here.
A long exposure view looking down from the clifftop towards the Pinnacles. 13 secs f/20. Available to purchase as a print in many forms and sizes at my Redbubble page.
A long exposure from down on the beach at the Pinnacles. 15 secs f/16.
Available to buy as a print here.
In mid July I tried something new. I arranged a photography excursion to the Pinnacles at Phillip Island and posted the idea on Facebook as a public event. By August 4th, the day of the excursion, there were 16 people confirmed as going and a few more “maybes”.
I had a realistic expectation that perhaps half of those who had confirmed would actually show up on the day. Imagine my surprise when all who had confirmed actually DID show up at the meeting place.
It was the start of a wonderful excursion with like-minded people, most of whom I had never actually met before and I only knew via Facebook.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day in the middle of a Melbourne winter. Both the weather and tides worked in our favour and all of the participants seemed to come away from the day pleased with the experience.
Following are snapshots of some of the participants enjoying the day at the Pinnacles beach. If you have a Facebook account you can view more images from the event here.
The following images were experiments using HDR tone mapping techniques combined with the effects of long exposure times.
Each image was constructed from at least 3 separate exposures using in-camera auto exposure bracketing. In my case, being a Canon shooter, I used 3 exposures of -2,0 and +2 simply for convenience. I believe Nikon shooters have a bit more flexibility in this area.
The images were all taken during daylight hours so it was necessary to use some heavy ND filtering in order to increase the exposure times and achieve a nice misty look to the water. In my case I used an ND400 and an ND8 filter stacked together to achieve this.
With the camera set to aperture priority mode I adjusted the aperture and filter combination (sometimes removing the ND8) to achieve an exposure of 8 seconds. When the shutter button is depressed the camera would then give me 3 exposures at 8 seconds, 2 seconds and 30 seconds (which is close enough to 0,-2 and +2). My particular camera doesn’t let me expose for longer than 30 seconds unless I go to bulb mode and use a remote timer, so out of laziness I tend to limit many of my exposures to 30 seconds. 🙂
The exposures were then combined and tonemapped using HDR software and tweaked in Photoshop to achieve the end result.
Despite all of this sounding a bit technical it’s really quite simple and I encourage you to try it. The results are often very rewarding.
BELOW – Jurassic Afternoon – Sunlight and waves break through a slit in the prehistoric Pinnacles rock formation on Phillip Island.
BELOW – The Mist of St.Pauls – A long exposure at St. Pauls beach, Sorrento, Victoria, Australia.
BELOW – Prehistoria – An image from The Pinnacles, at Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia.
BELOW – Swimming with Dinosaurs – Down amongst the prehistoric Pinnacles rock formations at Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia.
After a long pre-dawn walk along tracks through the tops of the coastal cliffs I arrived at The Pinnacles in time to see the sunrise. Access to the Pinnacles beach area here is via a steep (slippery when wet) track running down the face of the cliff area.
Unfortunately it turned out to be a dud sunrise so there wasn’t much colour in the sky but after getting down to the beach the view of the rock formations was wonderful. An interesting feature of this beach is the large round rocks covering the ground, great for photos but a challenge to navigate at times.