In time for the weekend here is another edition of “Instant Inspirations”, my series for you if you feel you suffer from “Photographer’s Block” or simply want to shoot something that you have never tried. Or at least not recently. With Episode 15 I encourage you to keep the camera out after sunset, leveraging the low light to achieve slow shutter speeds without the help of ND filters. But unlike in Episode 14, I leave the tripod at home because I want to combine motion blur with a bit of intentional camera movement (ICM) to create dreamy waterscapes at the wild coast of the Indian Ocean at Tsitsikamma National Park in South Africa. For the how-to, more images and links to all previous editions of “Instant Inspirations” continue reading after the jump….
As long as you keep your shutter speeds around 1/6 seconds, you still get a lot of texture in the waves. Experiment with different focal lengths and vary the shutter speed. Shoot a lot and check results later.
If you further slow down the shutter speed to about half a second and at the same time shoot at the long range of your tele lens (these shots are at 600mm full frame equivalent) you get even less texture. It is a bit hit and miss, but a lot of fun playing around.
The blurry horizontal line effects in the photos above and below you can obtain by shooting with the slow shutter speed and at the same time moving the camera horizontally across the horizon. Best technique is to move the cam, and while moving pressing the shutter.
A Dassie (Procavia capensis – looks like a coastal marmot, but is related to the elephants) observing the strange photographic endeavors.
The above photo shows you how it really looked like at that magic dusk hour at the Storms River Mouth Beach in Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa.
And thanks to my significant other I can show you even the “making of” these dreamy waterscapes of the Indian Ocean.
Camera for this shooting was the Olympus OM-D E-M1, lenses used the mZuiko 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 travel zoom and the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 tele zoom. Remember, with m4/3 you have to multiply the stated focal lengths by 2 to get the full frame equivalent.
All photos were taken hand held, no tripod was used, as I intentionally wanted to have some camera movement to create those dreamy effects. No filters were used, the waning light of the day allowed for those slow shutter speeds. Obviously, if you are at the coast during bright daylight, you can achieve similar results by using ND filters blocking out the light, but you need at least a big stopper (reducing the light hitting the sensor by 10 stops) for those slow speeds required.
There are really plenty possibilities to play with during dusk hour at the coast. Obviously it helps if you have lots of movement in the water. So if you live near a coastal area or next time you are doing a seaside vacation, don’t put the camera away after sunset and go after those dreamy waterscapes.
Most of all go out and have fun.
Have a great weekend!