Just returned from two weeks teaching workshops in Tucson, Capital Reef and Bryce NPs. Great folks and great photography all the way! Landscape photography was a focus of these trips, and we had some wild weather and clouds to make some interesting skies. One question came up during our classes; how do you create something different at popular overlooks at the national parks. One answer to this question is use a 15 stop ND.
I regularly use Singh-Ray filters in the field, I don’t leave home without them. These filters allow me to create images I couldn’t get without them, or create editing them in Lightroom. The 15 stop Singh-Ray Mor-Slo filter is a great example. This filter blocks 15 stops of light, allowing me to shoot multiple minute exposures during the day.
Take a look at the image at top. We had an incredible sky with storm clouds at Sunrise Point in Bryce Canyon NP. While the storm clouds shot at fast shutter speeds looked original and terrific, I decided to take it a step further. I put on my 15 stop filter and took a 4 minute exposure. This stretched out the clouds and made a very moody, striking photograph. And not an image someone would casually create unless they were also using a 15 stop filter.
Here is another example, this time in Capital Reef NP. Once again we had fast moving clouds and dramatic skies. I added my 15 stop filter to create this image as well. Using the extended shutter speeds in the Nikon Z9 meant I didn’t need a cable release for the image (I use self timer a lot). Also, I turned on Starlight View (D10) and could focus through the dark 15 stop ND filter, no need to prefocus and then attach the filter.
There are many ways to create an original photograph in a popular location. I’ll talk about more in future posts, but if you have clouds or moving water in your image, consider using a Singh-Ray 15 stop More-Slo filter.