Some time ago, I bought myself some ND filters, and have used them for motion blur in images with people in, such as The Ghosts of Tyneham. Usually to enable a 4 to 5 second exposure. However, I am itching to create effects with water and clouds, which will require a much longer exposure. Problem is, in the daytime I shall need to use quite a few stops of ND (and alas I do not have a Big Stopper).

But not to be deterred, I thought I would have a check this afternoon, as there were some clouds scudding along…. I have a tiny tabletop tripod, so I set this up on a windowsill, set the camera up with 3 NDs stacked, and discovered I could get a 20 second exposure at best….note to self – need more NDs! Or go out early or late in the day! But it also made me realise I need to use manual focus, sorted that out (hadn’t used it on this camera before). All things that are best found out before you go out on a cold morning or evening…

Here’s the practice shot, for what it’s worth, nothing exciting (but I learnt something) –


  1. Learning – so important.

  2. It’s beautiful! Love the soft pastel sky!

    • Thanks, Susan! Well, it’s a start, I now know for sure the (previously guessed at) limits of the tools I currently possess! I just didn’t want to be somewhere with stunning water or sky and discover I couldn’t create the image I wanted…….

  3. It’s great to experiment Sue – have fun. You have reminded me that my X100s has a built in ND filter capability equivalent to 3EV which I have yet to play with. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

  4. Recently, I also bought one. Have to venture to experiment with running water. Will be watching for the results of your work with the filters.

    • Hi Sally – don’t expect any results anytime soon! I know where I want to be for some of the desired images but it won’t be until next year, I think! 😳

  5. poppytump

    How cool to practise at home like that though Sue … you’ll be well prepared for those ultimate streaky clouds and swooshy waves or mirrored waters when the time comes . I’m not sure I knew about using manual focus though … am I being dim .. I tend to stick with autofocus in my limited trials …

    • Ah, well, when you’ve an ND filter or two stuck in front of the lens, there can apparently be issues with focussing….so focus your image, switch to manual so the camera doesn’t muck about with your setup, slap your NDs in their holder, and Bob is indeed your uncle if what I’ve been told is correct….

  6. hmm….I don’t understand this…but will look into it! It sounds like it could be cool…

  7. Great post Sue – thanks for sharing!
    Days like these are great where we try and hopefully learn stuff.
    The sky is so colourful and ‘there’ 😀

  8. lovely colors and beautiful 🙂

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