Cromer Pier Long Exposure

Posted by on Sep 16, 2016 in Photography, Photography Tutorials, UK Landmarks and Visitor Sights

Two nights in Cromer  and the weather has been rather hot and humid – Consequently it’s Packed with aged tourists out for a stroll. Although the weather’s fine it’s slightly cloudy and visibility is what the Met office would call ‘Moderate’ – effectively there’s a cloudy haze in the distance and you can’t see more than 10 miles or so.

At 7.00pm it was still very bright and I thought it was time to get out the old -10 ND  and do a little long exposure work on the pier. That way i figure the pedestrians will disappear because they don’t stay still enough to register.

I start with a quick exposure to find a sweet spot for what would be a ‘normal’  exposure without the -10ND. ISO is 100 and the aperture is 8.0 for a sharpish look.

Cromer Pier regular exposure

Cromer Pier regular exposure

The setting sun to the West is lighting the pier a little and giving it a slightly pinkish look. The tide is high and the waves are fairly regular and strong. With a vaguely longer exposure the waves will look a little messy but with the ND exposure time will be around 2 minutes and they should even out into a blur.

Cue some faffing around, cleaning the filter (it’s got to be VERY clean) plugging in a remote shutter release, and setting the camera into ‘bulb mode’.

I dial in a two minute exposure and two minutes later…..

Cromer Pier Two minute exposure Lee Big Stopper ND Filter

Cromer Pier long Exposure – with 10 Stop ND Filter
(Photo, Grant Pollard)

It works like it’s supposed to…. at ISO 100 and with an aperture of 8.0 plus the ND -10 it needed all two minutes to register a good picture on the 17mm lens.

Naturally I shot RAW so there was plenty of latitude to put on a curves adjustment and darken the skies but this is pretty much ‘it’. The Lee 10 stop filter i use creates a strong blue cast throughout and of course this needed adjusting…. it’s taken quite a bit of kick out of the pinkish hue on the pier.

I’ve used the same image twice in effect – with a separate curves adjustment on each – one for the sky and one for the water. It could be better in that the sky could be more interesting… but then i’ve worked with what i have and i’m not a fan of sky replacement….. it somehow doesn’t feel ‘genuine’.

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