Our meeting last night was pleased to welcome Oliver Herbold, A German National, talking on the subject of long exposure photography. This is an area of our hobby that many of us are familiar with but feel unsure of many of the details and settings, that we need to master, in order to achieve the best results.
The presentation provided us with fundamental reasons why a long exposure might be an advantage e.g., very low light levels, accessing sites that are crowded by day but quiet at night, eliminate motion to enable the observer to concentrate on the venue, create special effects using filters and extending sky patterns to enhance dramatic effect.
Oliver’s early work was centred around Gloucester Docks but we were delighted to see images taken in Dresden, Bristol, Brussels, Wales, Land’s End, Baltic Sea, Norway, Bosnia Herzegovina, all of which were analysed and discussed. It was clear that the author had taken some trouble to become technical adept and the following aspects explained in detail – Basic settings, Aperture, ISO, Mode, Exposure times and to demonstrate the effect that changes created, using a cliff edge image with moving sea to dramatic effect.
The improvement that a long exposure can make was shown using images from Aberystwyth, Brecon Beacons, France, Cornwall (St Michael’s Mount is a particular favourite), Dunraven Bay, North Devon, Elan Valley in Wales and Nash Point. His particular use of eliminating the horizon between sea and sky proved most interesting.
The second half of our evening started with a discussion of the relative merits and demerits of the tripod through stability, transportability, cost and we soon realised that perfection was never met, eventually concluding that you should choose wisely and carefully.
Continuing the theme of equipment, the topic of filters was described taking account of square or round, manufacturers (Lee, SRB, Case Hi-Tec etc.) The conclusion being a comprehensive filter system which includes a polarising filter, multi stop square types with a suitable cover is best – budget, of course, playing an important role in choice.
Oliver’s recent images gave us a treat covering Germany (Moselle) Eltz Castle, Amsterdam, Elan Valley (a stunning array of this reservoir and associated area from many different angles and shooting at a variety of times). Naturally a favourite topic, with care to eliminate star paths, is the Milky Way, Oliver had taken it in Cornwall (Tintagel) and Marazion. This image was later incorporated with a Dutch windmill.
More images of water in Wales, Betwys y Coed, Angelsey and Llanberis demonstrated his developing expertise. Finally, to contemporise Michelangelo’s contention that every block of marble contains a statue and it is the artist’s job to release it, Oliver presented a dull image of a rocky structure, heading seaward, then, using Photoshop and skilful use of white balance, graduated filters, clarity, highlights, sharpening saturation, layer masks, spot healing, dodging and burning to achieve depth and colour correction the final image was revealed, truly amazing – each stage had been described.
Oliver also features extensively on social media and has his own YouTube channel. Oliver is a photographer who is happy to share his knowledge and is keen to fully answer questions. We commend him to you.
A most informative and captivating evening – to see more of this expert’s work go to:– https://www.herboldphotography.com/