My latest post to the Outdoor Photography blog, Top Five Ways to Get Creative with Shutter Speed, discusses tips and techniques for long exposure photography. One of the images used to illustrate the post is the one below, which may be familiar to many of my readers. This is the image that started the whole “Dreamscape” thing, an artistic philosophy that has come to guide my photographic style.
This image was taken in Great Smoky Mountains National Park from atop Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Smokies. The valleys below were filled with fog. I waited until the edge of twilight to make ths image. The portion of the sky just above where the sun had set continued to glow for almost an hour, as the rest of the sky transitioned from blue to black. It was so dark when I made this image I couldn’t see my camera settings and focus scale on my lens. I simply set my lens to infinity, bumped my ISO up to 400, and started a 30 second exposure. The fast moving fog blurred like water in a stream during the long exposure. By keeping my white balance on the cool side (I don’t remember the exact setting but it was less than the Daylight preset), I was able to capture the rich blue tones created by light from the dark sky above reflecting into the shadowed clouds. I always look for opportunities to juxtapose warm and cool tones for creative effect.
Technical details: Canon 5D Mark II camera, 90mm lens, ISO 400, f/11, 30 seconds.
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