PROCEED TO GOAT ISLAND
Shot yesterday on Goat Island – the industrial boatyard section of Stornoway. This old fishing boat, ‘Proceed’, caught my eye. The sky and cloud combination was looking good for a long exposure shot: brilliant blue sky with a smattering of fluffy clouds, plus a gentle breeze to guarantee some cloud movement during the exposure.
Camera tech stuff: I composed the image with the camera mounted on a tripod. With the camera in Manual mode I set the aperture to f/22 to maximise shutter speed. Using the camera’s in-built light meter I noted the shutter speed that gave a well balanced exposure (not too dark, not too light). 1/20th of a second looked OK. Next I fitted the 10 stop neutral density filter, then set the lens to manual focus, having already achieved auto focus prior to fitting the ND filter – the ND filter is so dark, the lens will hunt around trying to achieve focus if left switched to auto and will ultimately refuse to take the shot. I switched the camera from Manual into Bulb mode and fitted a wired shutter release – Bulb mode is the only option that allows shutter speeds in excess of 30 seconds.
The theory is a 10 stop ND filter will require 10 stops more light. In reality I find my B+W 110 filter requires 11 stops to achieve a decent exposure. Going up 10 stops from 1/20th is approx 60 seconds (each time you double shutter speed you gain one stop of light). From previous experience with this particular filter, I know if I’d exposed this scene for 60 seconds the resulting image would have been way too dark. So I multiplied the theoretically correct 60 second 10 stop calculation by two i.e. lengthening shutter speed by one more stop from 60secs takes me to 2 minutes.
I clicked the shutter release button and locked it in the open position. Unlocked it 2 minutes later and up above is the result.
Talking of Goat Island, here’s a random cutting from a vintage edition of the Stornoway Gazette: