<<< o >>>the world stands still 52 comments + add yours

Some of you will remember that I've been after a B+W 113 neutral density filter: I got one, and this is the first shot that I've been happy with. It's taken in broad daylight, but because the 113 ND cuts the light transmission by 13 stops (which makes composition a bit tricky), it was a 30 second exposure. I'll be trying this out again over the next week or so, so watch this space.

Oh, and I know I still owe you a portrait of Finley: I'll try and get one tomorrow.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
10.15am on 14/4/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
C1 Pro
1x1 + ND 113 + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by frans (the netherlands) at 07:12 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

great shot, looks like a nightshot alltough it isn't

comment by What The Heck Journal at 07:22 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

Hi David.
Really gorgeous shot. The simplicity in the composition mixed with the blurry water os outstanding.
Really nice work!
- Martin

comment by mack bari at 07:23 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

wow... serenity at its best... great job.

comment by Alec Long [Shutter And Pupil] at 07:26 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

I think its a wonderful image. My only nitpick would be to raise your horizon a little so it doesn't sit smack in the middle of your frame.

comment by Jonathan Fleck at 07:35 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

This is an amazing shot, it looks like a "computer generated" CGI scene. You know, that would really tempt me to look at the ND filters myself - as you guys know, a 30sec exposure during the day (especially if the sky is as clear as), even with a f32 aperture and ISO100 sensitivity results in a completely blown out shot. How does the filter affect the light meter - were you still able to use the light meter to get a 'correct' exposure with the filter on?

comment by 24by36 at 07:43 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

Great shot. As always with your work, the colours are spot-on.

What led to the decision to use a 30 second exposure at f/5.6? Since you could have used smaller aperatures, did you try to shoot even longer exposures, for example 2 minutes at f/11? I'm just trying to get inside your head to see how your photographic process works...

comment by joe_ob at 07:46 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

I was wondering how ths was possible. The filter explains it, lovely shot. Very odd.

comment by nuno f at 08:29 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

13 stops take lots of light but even using f/5.6 and 30s the photo isn't blownout. That demonstrate that you are a true master using the light. I also think that C1 Pro helped alot. At least, it helps me in cases like this. :-)

comment by RensNL at 08:32 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

another amazing photograph. your work shows such a beautifull surreal surrounding. i keep coming back.

thanks for sharing!

comment by Philippe at 08:33 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

Very impressive work, I wanna experiment this one day.
Just a superb shot.

comment by Justin Gaynor at 09:18 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

This shot is beautiful, the color is unreal. Great shot. I haven't used my super-duper ND filter in a while, I've been meaning to.

comment by cj at 10:08 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

Glad you got there. Great effect. Look forward to more.

comment by Heath at 10:22 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

Stunning. This is almost surreal in appearance.

comment by Bob at 10:39 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

And here I though you were going to be shooting into a local glass blower's furnace with such an unconventional filter. Fooled again by your constant scheming for a unique perspective.

It must have been a pretty calm day as compared to your recent weather, because even on a tripod, it would have been easy for the marker to have lost sharpness during a 30s exposure.

Cool idea.

Damn. I just realized you'll probably spawn a premium for them now on ebay.

comment by Suvir Venkataraman at 11:15 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

Wow, neat idea. The soft landscape resulting from the long exposure is simply beautiful.

comment by djn1 at 11:40 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

Alec: in some ways I'm inclined to agree – the horizon might have been better placed – but in this case I quite like it.

Jonathan: the ND filter completely wrecked the metering: I needed to use the histogram to judge the exposure.

24by36: it was shot at f/5.6 and 30s because I forgot to take my remote release with me and the longest exposure I can set without it is 30s. Next time out I'll try a longer exposure.

nuno: it's just a question of checking the exposure with the histogram.

Bob: good idea, but I don't know any glass blowers ;-) And no, it was actually quite windy: the full res' version isn't as sharp as it should be. As for eBay: I'll be surprised if you come across this filter: it took me three months to track one down.

comment by Rui at 11:47 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2006

awesome! :)
we keep waiting for further pictures w/ the B+W filter.
Oh, and of course for Finley's portrait :)

comment by Rob at 01:19 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Nice pastel color pallete. I can see how the filter helped out for the shot, well done.

comment by Francesco at 01:28 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006


comment by Jamey at 01:49 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Have you ever seen the film The Truman Show, with Jim Carrey? This looks like the edge of the studio, when he sails to the door. Lovely shot and the thing that draws me in most is the surreal colours. It doesn't look like natural daylight. It looks painted.

comment by alex at 02:11 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

I'm usually a lurker who just enjoys seeing your images, but this one is really spectacular -- I had to comment and say so. :) Great use of the ND.

comment by Sharla at 03:51 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

I don't believe I've even even been close to imagining doing this. I'm happy to allow you to be better with a camera but at least my imagination had been able to keep up. I'm completely demoralized! :=)

I love how the scene is split at the horizon and how the blue-to-light is repeated but not duped. The beacon is a stake that anchors the whole shot. It's just fantastic!

comment by sarah at 04:13 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

blue white, blue white.
i like it.

comment by micki at 05:05 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Congrats on the new filter and what a stunning effect the long exposure created!

comment by eric at 05:10 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

I've been watching for awhile and I just wanted to let you know I think this is outstanding.

comment by doreen at 06:05 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

a very appropriate title =)

comment by Kayleigh at 06:08 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006


comment by garyx at 07:08 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Good vision; simple yet effective. Nice one.

comment by bruno at 08:52 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

very very nice and clear shot, beautiful motif

comment by jeremy at 09:14 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Very nice, quite a surreal feel to it.

comment by Peter - Wait-A-Second.de at 11:20 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

very cool tones!

comment by Raymond Tse at 11:34 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

What a great photo - sensational blues

comment by Paul at 11:38 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Outstanding, my second favourite of all your shots....THIS being my favourite.

comment by paflechien at 12:31 PM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Nice picture, it looks like an 1 km high antenna above the clouds.

(I didn't know about this filter, where did u find it)

comment by maziar at 07:04 PM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

amazing shot!

comment by djn1 at 09:10 PM (GMT) on 16 April, 2006

Thanks everyone :-)

paflechien: I got this one from the US, but ND filters are commonly available.

comment by Hans at 12:44 AM (GMT) on 17 April, 2006

David, would you care to share where you found the 113 filter? I've searched and searched as before, but all the shops only seem to carry 110 or 120's.
A 110 would only give me ~10s exposures, and a 120 would give ~20min exposures, so the 113 is "just right"!

comment by pfong at 06:52 AM (GMT) on 17 April, 2006

This shot literally made me hold my breath when I first saw it, so I'm not kidding when I say it's breathtaking.

comment by G. Moss at 12:43 PM (GMT) on 17 April, 2006

Pertaining to determining the exposure with the ND filter mounted, could you comment on whether you believe that the following procedure would work?

With the desired ISO setting and the ND filter off, set the lens at the smallest aperture, say f 22, and determine the shutter setting under these conditions.

Then, opening the aperture from f 22 to f 2.8 admits 6 times as much light (6 stops). This means that when the 13 stop ND filter is mounted at an aperature of f 2.8, then the shutter speed measured without the filter at f 22, should be multiplied by 256 (2 to the exponent 7) to provide the light equivalent to the remaining seven stops required. The correct exposure with the 13 stop ND filter is thus achieved by opening the lens 6 stops and doubling the exposure time seven times.

If you could get a shutter speed without the ND filter at f 2.8, then you would have to double that time thirteen times successively to obtain the correct exposure with the filter on.

comment by Ryan at 02:44 PM (GMT) on 17 April, 2006

This is a great shot. Reminds me very much of one of my favorite photographers, David Fokos. Check out his website.

comment by mooch at 04:51 PM (GMT) on 17 April, 2006

I suppose this would work well on clouds too. ND filters are pretty useful actually. I bought one but yet to use it. Lovely effect.

comment by Dan at 11:39 AM (GMT) on 18 April, 2006

Great shot and I think the alignment of the horizon works because of the square crop. Yes I want one of those filters now :)

comment by phoric at 05:00 PM (GMT) on 18 April, 2006


comment by Ruan at 04:48 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2006

Great shot, I was amazed by it. I am still wondering hoe you got that during the day!

comment by Kelly at 08:29 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2006

Very nice! Reminds me a bit of David Fokos, only in color.

comment by AngelC at 10:11 PM (GMT) on 19 April, 2006

beautifull Scene Congrats.

comment by Marlen at 10:17 AM (GMT) on 20 April, 2006

wow. wow. wow.

comment by Robert at 10:39 PM (GMT) on 28 April, 2006

Very Nice!

comment by Miguel at 12:22 AM (GMT) on 5 May, 2006

... what is there to left to say ? Great shot.

comment by mihai at 09:17 AM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

very cool colours, no movement of water, waiting for storm...

comment by Enric at 07:27 PM (GMT) on 26 May, 2006

I'm really impressed, love it, like a night shot

comment by steefje at 11:43 PM (GMT) on 26 May, 2006

mmmmmmman ! surreal image. everything about the pic is awesome, the gradient sky, perfectly horizontal horizon ( :p ) , ...

I just can't stop watching at the paintbrush-like effect on the bottom of the pic and that beautilful blue colors!
I never though i'd like this kind of picture that much, your skills outpower my ignorant prejudgements on low contrast / 'even smoothed' pics