Dark science

Just before heading out to Vancouver I got my hands on a set of filters for the 14mm lens. I had the chance to very quickly try them in London but was essentially using Vancouver as a learning curve for them.

This spot was about a 20 minute walk from my hotel, and after doing pre-trip research I had decided it was a location I really wanted to get a long exposure from. Arriving in Vancouver at 11pm at night I had been up for 26 hours, of which half of that time was spent flying, and an additional 7 hours was spent waiting around in airports. Straight to bed with me then, and then up before sunrise to make my way to this spot and see what the day would bring.

The sunrise was very uneventful, and what’s more I found that I was getting a lot of light leakage which were making my images unusable. I retired to a nearby spot for coffee and breakfast, and then popped into a supermarket where I picked up a pack of foam earplugs. John uses these to stuff into the viewfinder and block light so I figured I should too.

I returned to this spot and retried. It worked well, to some degree, but at times I was still getting light leakages which made the shots unusable. I am really not sure if this was coming from the back of the camera, in between the 10 stop and 6 stop filters that were in place due to the position of the sun, or something else.

It really is a dark art, but regardless of what was happening, I was leaving here without a shot.

I spent two days wandering around Vancouver and continued to try my hand at the dark art that is long exposure on the 14mm, with varying degrees of success.

On my final night, as the sun was starting to set I returned to this spot for one last go – and finally it worked. I can only assume it was the fact the light was dimming and the sun – or at least what was left of the bright part of the sky – was directly ahead of me. I’ll figure out and overcome the issues eventually, but even if you do see an influx of black and white long exposures in my stream while I am working on that, I promise not to turn to the dark side completely.

Perhaps I should be booking myself on Vulture Labs’ long exposure workshop this weekend…

  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: “Canon EOS 5D Mark II”
  • Focal length: 14mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Shutter speed: 3.2s