Frozen In Four Minutes Time
December 27th, 2020
Was feelin’ all cabin fever stir crazy, and just not wantin’ to sit and stew in my place today, so grabbed the camera and headed out, even though I had absolutely nowhere in mind to go, and what to shoot… But, to give me at least somewhat of an interest to shoot somethin’, I also brought along my vari-ND filter to do some slow shutter, long exposures.
Ended up just heading down to the edge of town, which is also the edge of the state (Iowa, currently now), that butts up against the ol’ Missouri River, onto which on the other side is the state I lived in until four months ago, Nebraska. To connect the two, there is this pedestrian bridge, which I traversed to Nebraskey way.
Walked over, and ventured a ways up this trail along the Nebraska side of the river, and nothing really caught my eye to try and capture… so, was just heading back Ioway side, to head back home, as it was a wee bit chilly-willy, and figured well at least, I killed some time, got out, and got a little walk in, guess will just head back home.
Way back over the bridge, I was taken again by little floating ice sheets traversing down the river, finding them somehow peaceful and relaxing to watch… but, not enough to photograph. Continuin’ on my way, I spied a clump of tall grass wavin;’ in the wind, down below, back on the Iowa side, that made me want to venture to and capture.
Once off the bridge on the Iowa side, I trekked back towards the river and the area where I saw the grass. To access where it was, also brought me close to the shoreline, and went out upon a little sandy peninsula, to see maybe if anything there to capture.
A wayfaring branch of a tree was embedded in the sandy shore, and so caught my eye as a foreground object to place in front of a shot of the pedestrian bridge, and so captured the one to the left above.
Then decided to break out the neutral density filter and give it a go. It’s an eight stop (I believe) variable ND filter, and am glad I pulled it out, for I discovered that I can get much longer exposure times with it on the X-Pro3 than never could with my trusty ol’ Nikon D700.
Trust me, I shot many a time with the Vari-ND on the D700, and am almost certain, the longest I was ever able to achieve exposure wise, was thirty seconds… and that was lowering the ISO all the way to 50 (or maybe it was a 100, I can’t remember what it was… natively, it’s lowest ISO setting was 200, but had a Low ISO Setting, which narrowed it down to 100), and stopping all the way down on my lens to it’s smallest aperture, I am pretty sure thirty seconds was always the longest I could go… thinking about it now, wonder if that was the slowest setting speed it had, and could have gotten longer putting it on bulb setting… anyway, the longest my exposures ever were attained, were thirty second ones.
Putting it on the front of my my nifty-fifty Fuji lens (okay, 35mm, APS-C sized… aka nifty-fifty-three), my only lens I still only have, stopping the ND filter all the way down to it’s max setting, aperture shut all the way down to f16, ISO at it’s native lowest setting of 160, I pointed it to the sand, as it was an overcast day, and it was pert’ near middle grey to expose off of, and was gobsmacked to see that to get the exposure meter to balance out at ‘0’, the shutter speed read 4’… wait, that means four minutes! Get the fuck out! Even turned it back a couple clicks until read 60″, and went, yep, by golly, it’s readin’ a bloody four minute exposure time!
So, the image on the right above, is my very first four minute exposure.
I am truly amazed. I would have given anything to have gotten that kind of long exposure time when I was back shootin’ with my Nikon, in places where I was shooting long exposures… knowing that I can attain such an exposure on the Fuji, makes me excited and happy at the possibilities that lie ahead.
Granted, again, it was quite overcast today, and if full blown sunny out, may have opened that up quite a bit to maybe a minute, maybe two, exposure time… but, still… look forward to experimenting more with it in the future.
Lastly, that above was my second ever four minute exposure, repositioned to capture the downtown Omaha area in the background, across the river… don’t like it as much as it’s older brother, four minute exposure shot. Though, put me in the mind of the ol’ Frogger arcade game, with, in my imagination, the little stick fella, lookin’ like a brontosaurus stick creature, eyein’ tryin’ to cross the busy river highway o’er to the other side.
Oh, and really, the images were black and whited, as I remembered while viewing, that the vari-ND filter produces a magenta color cast within the image… that as well as some weird opposite vignetting, where it is lighter at the corners… also was quite breezy, so am sure there was mild camera shake, as well as objects being blown in the images, to make it not crystal clear sharp. Did find it interesting that even for a four minute exposure time, the flag in the distant background, was blown consistently stiff enough in the breeze to be clearly recognizable.
Okay, anyway, that’s it.