Reflections on a year in 365 photographs


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Fifteen minutes and a polarizer filter; that’s all it took to create this image.  Having left work later than planned, I had scant time for today’s capture so I took a quick detour through a waterfront park hoping I could find something interesting.  The park teems with art and sculpture which might have made cool images if I’d had some lighting with me.  There were no ships passing close on the water.  And the cold temperatures had driven all the visitors into their warm cars to head home for dinner.

Enter the lowly rock.  You’ve seen one rock picture, you’ve seen them all, right?  Ok.  Add a bit of water and wave action.  Toss in a bit of twilight and we’re getting there.  Of course there was still too much light to get a properly long exposure for blurring the water.  The best I could do at a ridiculous f32 was a couple of seconds.  And I was running out of time to get home to dinner myself.  What to do?  Aha!  Pull out my trusty old EF28-105 II f3.5-4.5 on which I keep a circular polarizer permanently mounted.  That polarizer is worth about 1.7 stops which translated into a 13 second exposure; enough time to blur the water into an ethereal quality.  Perfect!  Just compose on a diagonal for a bit of drama and voila…something from nothing.

Lesson for the day:  Someone commented on another project photo that I might have had the tool at hand that I wished I’d had, but didn’t use.  So today, when I was racking my brain on how to get the image I wanted, I dug a little deeper in my kit bag and came up with the right solution.


Written by Brian Fancher

January 12, 2010 at 12:37 am

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