I wandered around Waterford’s Copper Coast today ducking in and out of the rain into caves dug into the cliffs long ago. I’d never been down around that area before so I wasn’t too sure what I’d find.
I was keen to try out the replacement big stopper filter (10 stop, ND 3.0) this weekend. The previous one I had couldn’t be used above f11 due to hundreds of tiny black spots inside the filter. The one that arrived as its replacement, thanks to the very nice returns department at Teamwork Photo, looks perfect. With the weather being especially blustery (gusts of up to 130KPH) and plenty warnings for people to stay away from coastal areas I picked up the camera bag and tripod and set off for the Copper Coast.
The Copper Coast is a stretch between Dungarvan and Tramore in the county of Waterford in the south east of Ireland. Named after the 19th century copper mines that lie at its heart it boasts a spectacular 25km drive with stunning views of the coastline most of the way. It’s famed for having some of Ireland’s best beaches and I must admit I’m quite ashamed for not having visited there sooner. It’s only about 70 KM from where I live so I’ve had no excuse.
Having parked up the car at Kilfarrasy beach and received my warnings from the coast guard who were out combing the cliff tops for those less sturdy on the their feet, I set up the shot of the sea arch in the distance. I decided I’d record how the picture was taken instead of just posting up the final result. I’m going to take this approach to new shots I take as part of my Slow Photography Movement. The challenge I set may be over but I want to keep putting more thought and effort into what I do here.
Having set up the camera and tripod, I first I took a meter reading of 1/80 sec at F22, ISO 100. The ND3.0 filter is supposed to drop the light by 10 stops resulting in a shutter speed 1000 times slower. Having remembered my times tables from school this should have resulted in a shutter speed of 12.5 seconds. I was hoping for longer to blur the waves properly but the glare from the water was just too bright.
As you can see from the pics the filter was held on by a couple of hair ties kindly “donated” that morning by my better half. I didn’t have filter ring adapter for the 72mm handy but the ties worked just as well. Having set the camera up in manual mode I took the shot at 13 seconds F22. The exposure was much too dark even though the automatic exposure without the filter was fine. I then shot a few more increasing the aperture and time and settled on F18 for 25 seconds. It just goes to show that filters can be very different to what they say on the box.
The shot needed quite a bit of sharpening in Photoshop due to the wind shaking the camera though I tried my best to hold it down by pressing the tripod into the sand as the shutter remained open for what seemed and age, and using the channel mixer to change it to monochrome (25, 35, 40) I added the sepia affect (10, 0, -10) using the colour balancer.
And there we have it, the final image. I’m really looking forward to the longer evenings soon so I can get out more and not have to battle the sideways rain that seems to be a feature these days.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again.