Slow Southend Sea

This was taken this morning at Southend-on-Sea. It was an experiment which went wrong!!

I have just aquired one of those ‘big stopper’ filters which when you look at them appear to be almost black. Many photographers use them to achieve long ( very long ) exposures – sometimes running into three or four minutes – to give smooth water or to emphasise movement in clouds.
All that, of course, requires you to set up the camera properly – which I did not. Yes, I put the shutter speed into ‘bulb’ mode, whereby I could keep the shutter open for my calculated 1 minute exposure. But then through operator error, my exposure turned into 1.3 secs. Don’t ask me why ( or how ) – I’m not sure, to be honest.

When I looked at the image later on my computer in was a rectangle of almost pure black – but – and here is the good bit ( and I think the interesting bit ) – I had been shooting in RAW; and in Lightroom 5 when I moved the Exposure slider to +5 stops the image appeared before me.

But there’s more. The image with +5 stops of exposure was still a little on the dark side – and +5 is all that the exposure slider can give. So then I added a graduated filter over the entire image and dialed in another 2 stops of exposure.
I was then able to back of the exposure slider by 0.5 stops to give me the image you see here.

Now, I’m not saying this image is perfect – I know it isn’t – but if anybody wants to know about the benefits of shooting in RAW – this must be a tale worth listening to!!

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