Sunday 27 March 2011

Sunrise at Portland Bill

As I mentioned here, just after the wedding Jac and I spent a bit of time on Dorset and one of the great pleasures of the trip was seeing the sun come up over the English Channel from Portland Bill.

It was a good forty five minutes before the sun came up that we found ourselves parked up at a chilly exposed car park, with just the rays of light from the lighthouse playing out across the sea.

Finding a suitable spot looking towards where the sun was due to rise, I set up the 5Dmk2, 24-70 on the tripod with the Lee Filter system, mostly using my favourite Blending Filter.  This is a specially made ND grad that transitions from 3 stops at the top through to nothing at the bottom in one big graduation.  I like this filter as it avoids the obvious step in exposure that you get with standard ND grads.

Well before the sun was up the light was cold and blue

As the sun came up the light transitioned through these glorious stages

They have all had a little amount of Photoshop fannying about for artistic effect.....obviously.

With the waves crashing in the rocks and the wind blowing straight at me, I kept the lens covered with a Lee Filter lens cloth in between shots, and generally had to wipe the filter clean in between alternate shots

Turning round directly behind me in the same place was the lighthouse.

Using just a standard exposure resulted in this shot.

Quite pleasant, but nothing really special.

Putting on the B & W 10 ND screw on filter that I blogged about last year, and then fitting the Lee Blender on top gave me these images

A completely different effect.  As I mentioned before, one of the compromises with the 10 x Screw in filter is you have to do all your composition and set up and lock the camera off before you fit the filter and Lee system.  And before that you have to do the exposure calculation.  I usually do a meter reading, and then using fingers and thumbs keep doubling the shutter speeds until I get to what I think is about the right answer.  It doesn't always work out right, but then you can experiment extending or reducing based on your results.

This was the first time that I had used the 5Dmk2 for landscapes and I have to say I am very impressed with it.  Lovely smooth files, which the size and resolution on here will never do great justice to


1 comment:

  1. I just love the first shot of the lighthouse Martin.