On June 29th, I had the opportunity to take a class/workshop on long exposure. Beautiful day in Asbury Park NJ to snap off some shots of the lake and surrounding houses. The class was hosted by Scott Wyden Kivowitz and anyone looking to get more involved in long exposure should consider his e-book that he has available.
So this was my 1st formal class and I wasn’t sure what to expect but Scott and Joe took us under their wings and showed us the ropes both in class and out in the field.
While taking some shots using my tiffen ND filters I was noticing that shots were coming in darker than I thought they should. Some were fine, others were too dark. So now I am scratching my head as to why my expensive 5D3 is not accurately metering longer to allow enough light to get into the sensor so I have spot on exposure. Well…long story short, after a few days of testing (after this course) and doing some research and asking folks on Google Plus, the answer was somewhat disappointing. The Canon 5D3’s metering is only good to about 5 stops of light when using ND filters. If I used less than 5 stops of filtering I could get a decent shots but if I tried to go with a 9 stop exposure by stacking my filters on the lens, the metering was not accurate and would underexpose by at least 2 to 3 stops. So now I use photopills, which is an iOS app that does it all. I am still learning the app and in a future blog I hope to give a review on the app. But it does do long exposure calculation and when I applied my aperture and shutter and then told it how many stops of filtering I wanted to use, it came up with a new shutter time and voila, a perfectly exposed shot with the long exposure look I was looking for.