Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's early morning on the beach, and the Vari-ND helps us go with the flow

Outdoor photographer, teacher and author William Neill is known for his intimate landscape photographs. The strongest examples of this work can be seen in his Landscapes of the Spirit book. A few days ago, Bill captured this image near his California home with the Singh-Ray Vari-ND. The exposure was 15 seconds long, and -- as he says -- "the image would not have worked without the Vari-ND." It's his latest success in his ongoing "Landscapes of the Spirit" series, created by placing the camera on a tripod and shooting extra-long exposures that clearly convey the motion occurring within the image.

"On a family get-together over Memorial Day weekend," says Bill, "I found myself photographing at Carmel Beach and along the Big Sur coast. It was a wonderful chance to walk along the beach at dawn and sunset. This photograph is one of many made that morning using my Singh-Ray Vari-ND filter to achieve the longer exposures I needed to wash away distracting details. I timed the exposures for when the surf movements would create the most blur -- working the scene for about 20 to 30 minutes to capture the various wave motions.

"I often look for strong graphic elements to use in the foreground of a landscape image. In this case, that element becomes the main object." Bill used a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and exposed for 15 seconds at f/32 at ISO 100.

Bill not only writes a monthly column "On Landscape" for Outdoor Photographer, he also teaches on-line courses for BetterPhoto.com and maintains a great blog, Light on the Landscape.

William has just released a digital edition of Landscapes of the Spirit which is now available for downloading as a high-quality PDF for a mere $15.00. Check it out here.

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