It’s unusual for most of year to have nothing more than clear blue sunny skies here in Phoenix. It’s been cloudy lately so I took the opportunity to drive out to lake pleasant and capture some landscapes containing some texture in the skies. I personally love the look of the lake when the water is calm and looks smooth as glass. Unfortunately the lake was not calm. There were speed boats and other watercraft causing ripples and waves. Even though there were clouds, I didn’t notice any wind.
In photography, to achieve the look of glass in a lake during daylight hours, you use an extremely slow shutter speed. There is a few of different ways to lower the shutter speed. One way is to stop down, or make your f-stop a higher number. Another way is too lower the ISO setting on the camera and the last way is to use a neutral density filter. To get smooth water, you need a shutter speed of at least 2 seconds. The only way to get the shutter speed to be that slow, without over exposing the scene, was to use two of my 6 stop ND or neutral density filters. Those filters cut the light so that less light enters my lens. The lens I was using was a 77mm so that was the size of my filters. *These are the exact filters I have but yours may be a different size.
I wanted the texture in the sky, so I had to make an extra exposure to capture the clouds because otherwise they blurred because of their natural movement. I made several exposures once I noticed the sea gull landing on the buoy and another one flying around. I thought the final image may benefit from these additional elements. The resulting image is a result of these four different exposures.
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