Melbourne is in Port Phillip Bay, I’m sure I’ve told you that before. It is a large bay, and the city itself is around an hour and a half to two hours to the coast. In some ways we are very protected in our bay. Though lots of ships do come in and go out through it. However, because it is so large there are so many different little bays inside the main bay. Last Tuesday I got to visit two of them, which I was excited about, as it was also the first chance I had to use my new Formatt Hitech Firecrest 16 filter.
The first bay we went to was Davey’s Bay. There is a little pier there and not much else. It is quite secluded and very nice. I am glad I went with others as I’m not sure I wouldn’t have found it by myself.
It was a great little spot and perfect to try out the Firecrest 16. This is ND Filter, or a Neutral Density filter. The idea of the filter is that it is dark in colour and it stops some of the light going through to the sensor so you can get different exposure times, or rather longer ones. The darker they are, the longer the exposure.
They are called neutral because they are meant to be neutral in colour, so supposedly they don’t effect the colour of the image when it’s taken. If you buy cheap ones you will often find they have a colour cast. Though some of the good ones also have them as well, I’ve noticed that my Lee Big Stopper can give a blue cast.
The Firecrest 16 is a 16 stop ND filter, so if my camera says for a normal exposure you will need a shutter speed of 1/250 of a second, then with this filter you could get an exposure of around four minutes. It means you can get that smooth water and blurry clouds. Most of these images were done with a six minute exposure.
I decided to convert many of the images into monochrome, but to do this I used Silver Efex which is part of the Nik Collection by Google.
I took a lot of images around this area with that filter and got lots of long exposures, before we went to the next bay, Watkins Bay.
This area had a few piers, some good, some not. The bay was so still here, and there really wasn’t any need for the 16 stop ND Filter. I think I took one photo with it, but then it was getting too dark and the exposure times were getting too long. I did start using the the new ND graduated filters, but used them as full ones rather than as graduated.
I have a gallery for you now, I really like the effect of the filters, and I will be trying some more this weekend. I hope you have lots of plans for photos this weekend.