Day 113 – St Georges Day and Shutter Speeds

Happy St George’s day … St George is the patron saint of England and today I took my St George’s flag down to the beach and took some photos … my original idea was to capture the flag and to celebrate being British.

ISO250, F11, 1/320 sec - St George's Day Flag and my dogs!
ISO250, F11, 1/320 sec – St George’s Day Flag and my dogs!
ISO200, F5.6, 1/2000 sec - St George's Day Flag
ISO200, F5.6, 1/2000 sec – St George’s Day Flag

However the sea caught my interest, and I ended up using my tripod and a neutral density filter to experiment with shutter speeds, to see what effect I could create with moving water, using back button focus here was great as by watching the waves I could anticipate where they were going to break and capture the shot more easily.

ISO200, F7.1, 1.2500 sec - the breaking waves
ISO200, F7.1, 1.2500 sec – the breaking waves

A high shutter speed 1/2500 sec caught the waves breaking on the rocks – timing was everything… so to get the shots that I wanted I used a high speed shutter.

ISO200, F7.1, 1/2500 sec
ISO200, F7.1, 1/2500 sec

Slowing down the shutter speed to 1/250 sec increased the aperture, increasing the depth of field, due to the bright sunlight and the speed of the water I was still able to capture detail on the waves.

ISO 200, F25, 1/250 sec
ISO 200, F25, 1/250 sec

Adding a neutral density filter, I had to manually guess the aperture to get the right exposure… here I choose a 0.4 sec exposure, and an aperture of F13 … you have enough depth of field to add some movement to the wave breaking in the background and some milky sea water in the foreground. The only thing is that my ND filter was a cheap one from ebay and it really does leave a colour cast … I need to think about setting a white balance reference point in future, or getting a better quality filter.

ISO 200, F13,  0.4 sec - ND filter
ISO 200, F13, 0.4 sec – ND filter

An increase to a 2 second shutter speed almost smooths out the sea completely, and the timing between the waves leaves the rocks covered in water.

ISO 200, F25m 2 sec - ND filter
ISO 200, F25, 2 sec – ND filter

Increasing the shutter speed to 4 secs and still shooting at F22, I was able to create a lovely milk sea with an almost eerie feel as the waves take on an almost ghostly feel – I took several shots to get the timing right and this is the one I preferred.

ISO 200, F25m 4 sec ND filter
ISO 200, F25,  4 sec ND filter

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