Friday, December 15, 2006

Tom Bol impresses workshop with his Vari-ND

Leading a recent Pop Photo Nikon Mentor Series workshop in Maui, Hawaii, gave Tom Bol several chances to show how the Singh-Ray Vari-ND slows down exposure times dramatically.

"One of our main subjects was the dramatic beaches and waves we encountered while shooting during the day. Maui had incredible surf this week, so I knew the Vari-ND filter was going to be my filter of choice to create that silky ocean effect.

At mid-day we stopped at the Ke'anae, and I started using the Vari-ND filter to slow my shutter down to 20-30 seconds, creating some nice silky seascapes surrounding the black volcanic rocks. As soon as the students saw this effect, they were lining up to borrow my filter! There was no other way to get this slow shutter speed in the mid-day sun.

After the workshop, I went out to La Perouse Bay hoping for that one dramatic sunset image using the Vari-ND. I found a nice composition with some foreground rocks and surf with Kaho'olawe Island in the distance. I used a 70-200mm 2.8 lens at about 100mm, and set the exposure for F8 at 25 seconds using the Vari-ND to slow down the shutter speed for the right silky effect with the ocean. I also used a Singh-Ray 3 stop hard-edge Graduated Neutral Density filter to reduce the exposure of the sky and setting sun. For one quick moment, the sun peeked through the clouds and I took the shot. I'm happy with the result.