Most of us photographers have desires for the next camera, lens or accessory. I'm no different in this and for years I've been looking at the Lee Filter System and trying to find a reason to have.
Seeing other photographers results with them didn't help. Hell their results looked darn good, but I don't really do landscapes and could never justify the expense. Then I see more images of smooth milky waters, blurred fast moving clouds, empty streets which should be busy - the impact of the Big Stopper, then its little brother - The Little Stopper, got me thinking how I could incorporate them into my style of photography. But still it was a big expense. Luckily for me, others thought to help me out and one Christmas morning I found myself the owner of the 100mm system, some grads and a little stopper (quickly supported by its bigger brother).
Now the hard part comes to learning how to use them and to get into the practice of using my very under used tripod. So my first real attempt was to try a create a better version of a picture I took many years ago of Bolton Abbey with the river and stepping stones. It hangs on my parents wall and each time I see it I cringe... Alas, the river was full and the stepping stones were not to be seen. So that shot was off, but I still had time to test the system. Here are the results.
All images were taken on a Canon 5d Mk III step up on a tripod with cable release.
Image 1 -
Exposure : 1/60 second at f/16 at ISO 100.
Lee Filter : .3ND Grad to darken the horizon/sky.
Image 2 -
Exposure : 1 second at f/16 at ISO 100.
Lee Filter : .3ND Grad to darken the horizon/sky, plus the Litter Stopper to smooth the water a little.
Image 3 -
Exposure : 25 seconds at f/16 at ISO 100.
Lee Filter : .3ND Grad to darken the horizon/sky, plus the Big Stopper to smooth the water out a lot lot more. I followed the guide card for 1/60th a second but though I needed a little longer to get the exposure I was after.
So, which image do you prefer?