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Untitled | by Flash Parker
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Lake Tekapo, Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand.


The Black Sock is back!

Couldn't resist. When I get in a grove and decide it's time to break out the big filters - and the light decides to cooperate - I can hunker down and churn out a few hundred frames in a single sitting, trying just about every possible composition I can think of. Some work, some don't. I do, I say I do declare that this one works.


If I could choose only two places in NZ to revisit Tekapo would be one and Milford Sound would be the other (our struggles to reach Fiordland are well documented). Tekapo is simply gorgeous.


In case you missed my little Black Sock/Black Masking write-up yesterday, here is the technique documented again. I'll blog this shizzle sometime in the coming days and add it to my Filter Guide.



- ND1000 filter to allow for a long daylight exposure

- As most of you who have used the ND1000 before know, it is a screw-in Neutral Density filter with the same level of filtration throughout. It doesn't help when two halves of the scene - here the sky and the water - have disparate exposure levels. I could have solved this by adding my Lee filter kit to the outside of the ND1000 and dropping in an Graduated Neutral Density filter (likely the ND8 for this scene) to bring down the light in the sky, but that would have meant severe vignetting shooting this wide as well as flares, ghosting and other unwanted artifacts. I wanted to keep this scene as clean and smooth as possible so I tried something new; I did a little Black Masking.

- Black Masking means blocking light from one part of a scene from hitting the image sensor. I did that by holding a black sock over the top half of the frame while the lower half (the water + rocks) exposed on the image sensor. I did a little trial and error with this; sometimes I covered the top half of the frame for 5 seconds, sometimes 10, sometimes 20. It's all about masking to taste, really. It worked exactly the way I wanted it to and gave me something to do while I waited for the shutter to close.


While you’re here, stop by and visit the world of Jahrensy, my trusty second shooter and partner in crime on this, that and another misadventure.


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Taken on September 28, 2010