At last …. Heading out to the Lake District taking the camper I knew I would be able to find the perfect time and location for a spot of long exposure shooting. The plan was to stick faithfully to the 1Camera1Lens project however I was not able to take the normal 35mm Fujifilm XE1 combination after finding out that the sensor in this camera was very dirty. I have never cleaned a sensor before so I ordered a lens cleaning kit and waited for delivery. Unfortunately it turned up on the day we were due to leave for Lake Holiday. I did not want to rush this procedure for fear of damaging my XE 1. I took the decision to leave the XE1 at home and take the Fujifilm X100. (My old sole mate). The 10stop Hoya filter will fit all of my lenses as I have a group of conversion rings so I can swap 39mm up to 52mm if needed. So how did it go take a look after the page break.
My kit I packed for this long exposure practice is as follows, Fujifilm X100, Hoya 52mm 10stop ND filter, Pixi tripod and a mechanical shutter release cable. To be fair I chose a very simple subject matter for my learning waterfalls and streams.Our first stop on the way to the Lakes was to re visit Aysgarth falls near Leyburn in the Yorkshire dales. There are some very dramatic falls made famous buy the movie Robin Hood Prince of Thieves with Kevin Costner. We would stop over for the one night before moving on into Cumbria. Michelle and I had visited 23years earlier on our honeymoon. This place is indeed magical, during this visit I was blessed with a warm evening slightly misty, with white cloud sky’s. Arriving mid afternoon I set about choosing some locations and setting up for some long exposure shots.
My set up is quick but perhaps a little brutal in some photographers eyes. If I have been shooting normally with the X100 this a my procedure. I will first attached the Pixi tripod to allow me to stand the X100 while I sort out the lens. Remove the threaded ring from the front of the Fujinon lens, attach the step down ring and 52mm Hoya ND filter. Screw in the mechanical release cable. Set the camera to manual focus, F8 and “bulb” mode for the shutter. Find the location and composition via the optical view finder. Switch to EVF for focusing and set focus. Using the release cable in bulb mode displays a timer in seconds of the shutter open time. After the first shot / attempt and review the results I now have a good idea if I need to be longer or shorter or need to change the aperture depending on conditions, or personal desired results. All this takes just a few moment with practice, it’s not long before I can be set up and skipping about the landscape taking 2-4 shots per compositional set up. Taking care not to slip over getting myself or my equipment wet. No light metering it’s all little a bit of a guess with little finesse. Sorry if the long exposure experts become offended but for now this method suits my style of working. I never meter for light …. It all takes too long otherwise, the light is changing every minute so I have to move fast. That’s it learn on the fly oh apart from the post processing. Ok it needs some work but I am quite pleased with the results. I managed to produce a fairly wide range of compositions and exposure times and in a number of different locations. This still needs work and I want to find a way to control exposure of fast flowing water better than I have done in some of these shots but that will take more time.
In general I had a great time in the Lake District and will post another blog of some of the landscape shots taken while out walking. The real treat was working with the X100 again, the focal length is generous after working with the 35mm for so long and the ease of use was noticeable over the XE1. I still am determined and will continue to complete this year long project with the XE1 and 35mm combination but I have a feeling I may know the results and my decisions next year on what will be my final “go to” camera and set up for travelling in the camper. . And any other photography I may be experimenting with in the future. Write again soon. Thank you for reading my post.