Saturday, July 10, 2010

One Filter At A Time ~ B+W ND110

Ah, the B+W ND110! My powerful 10 stop filter. The filter that started it all! Now, it was not my first filter. I did get for Christmas last year a set of Cokin filters, and I did have fun playing around with them learning about blocking light and all, but that was a gift that was chosen for me where as the ND110 was the first filter where I went online myself, did the research, learned all about ND and found out about ALL the wonderful choices out there! Not a lot of companies, that I know of, make a 10 stop filter like this! Hoya makes a 9 stop and Lee makes the big stopper, which is 10 stops. But Lee is drop in square filters and B+W is the screw on type. Any way, the passion started here! I spent hours of time doing research and I KNEW that I was not going to settle for 6 stops, at this point any way! (I came across a 6 stop at a local photo store and I chose to hold out!)

So, what is so special about this filter? It looks almost as dark as the lens cap! I can shoot a 30 second exposure INTO THE SUN with this baby! YA, its that dark! When I started photography in October of 09, I knew I wanted to do a 365 project starting Jan 1, 2001. About a month before day light savings, I started to really stress, because the theme of my 365 is LONG exposures. The goal being 30 seconds or longer! How in the world was I going to do that during day light savings when it did not get DARK till almost 9pm? I have a family you know! Its just not reasonable to leave the house ever night to find something new to shoot! And sunsets? Forget it! There was no way I was going to make a lot of sunsets at the beach any more. SO, I made it a point to find a way! While surfing flickr one day, I saw a 30 second day time exposure and I just about freaked out! I sent out a flickr mail to the person right away to find out who, what, where, when and why! Because thats EXACTLY what I wanted to do!

With in 2 weeks of finding what I wanted, and ordering on Amazon, BEST price, I had the 10 stops in hand and I was OFF! Of course, I had tech issues with my wide lens, so for the first month and a half, I had to use the B+W ND110 on my zoom lens, I was just forever grateful I also got a step up ring when I ordered the filter! When I finally had my wide lens AND my B+W ND110, I was IN HEAVEN! Such a magic combo and I have been shooting with them ever sense. Now, after about a month of shooting with the 10 stop, I knew I wanted to expand and get some less dark filters to get more details in the water. When all is said and done, between these 3 filters I have now shared with you, I am able to get any where from an quarter of a second to 2 minutes, or more I guess, at just about any f stop I want to! And any time of day or night. Now that's power! One of the things I like most about this filter, is how many things you CAN do with it. For example, if you really push up the ISO, you can get a quarter of a second shot! But if you really play with the aperture and close it way up, a minute exposure is reasonable! Thats a pretty far reach! It just so happens that I prefer ISO 100 and f/11 (ish) so the other filters all have there place! So why 10 stops and 30 seconds? Because the water gets to be OH SO smooth! I mean, LOOK AT IT! :) Others like to call it "misty." Ya! And, another thing you get with this extreme of ND, the clouds move during that time! The moving clouds also adds an awesome detail to the image too.

Now, the picture above is from one of my favorite spots in La Jolla, California. Called Windansea. This was from the other day, and the day was very overcast. Translation, not as colorful as usual! Life goes on! But you get the point. Tomorrow, I will post a more colorful version of the same spot. But its a longer exposure with stacked filters, so that will be another topic! I keep thinking of new topics, YA! :)

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