Free Long Exposure Quick Calculator PDF
Please download this free pdf which is a handy long exposure calculator chart
I print it out and laminate it to keep in my camera bag for reference.
To use it, simply take a light meter reading with your camera without any ND filters in place and make a note of the shutter speed. Find the closest shutter speed to this reading in the left hand column and then read across to column which has the amount of ND filtration you are using – this gives you your exposure length.
Bear in mind this chart uses full stops and that exposure lengths get less critical the longer they get so slight variations will not affect the exposure that much. I also recommend using an aperture that gives you an exposure length of no more than two or three minutes as going beyond this rarely improves the look of the image. It is also important to note that all extreme ND filters are different. The manufacturers can’t guarantee a 10 stop filter has exactly ten stops of strength. For example, Lee will inform you that their “Big Stopper” can vary from 9.25 to 11 stops in strength. Since one stop of difference doubles or halves the previous exposure value this can mean two photographers, side by side with identical cameras and settings working with the same brand of extreme neutral density filter can get wildly different results. If photographer one has a filter rated at 9.5 stops and his companion has one at 10.5 stops then photographer one may shoot for 4 minutes but his friend will only need to shoot for 2 minutes to get exactly the same result. This means you need to use the exposure chart and gradually get used to how yours performs and adjust the times accordingly. On my workshops, I show you my technique for getting massive raw files and perfect exposures with extreme neutral density filters, as well as how to focus while using them.
Free Hyperfocal Distance Calculator PDF – Full Frame Sensor Cameras
This free download is a hyperfocal distance calculator for full frame sensor cameras. (I will be uploading another version with the settings for cropped sensor cameras soon).
Before I explain how to work with hyperfocal focusing, I should say it is not the way I work. There is sometimes an issue with working hyperfocally where the front of the image is less sharp than you hope. On my workshops I show my students how I tweak the hyperfocal process to achieve more acceptable results. The next best thing to my technique is to focus hyperfocally.
Print page one and then print the reverse side of that page with page two. I have filled a A4 sheet with credit card sized charts so you can give them to friends of have spares. I laminate mine with credit card sized lamination pouches and they fit in my pocket or wallet easily and last for ages.
The aim of using hyperfocal distances is to use an aperture that is closest to your lenses ‘sweet spot’ (it’s best performing sharpest setting – usually around f8 to f 11) to get the best performance from it while still getting the front to back sharpness you need for your particular composition. Set up your camera on the tripod and compose your image. Look for the object closest to the lensÂ which needs to be sharp and estimate its distance from the camera. Check on the lens to see what focal length you have it zoomed to (or, if it is a prime lens, the fixed focal length of the lens) and then read across the chart from this setting and find a distance in meters that suits your needs, ideally in the f8 or f11 column. If you focus on this point (some photographers even take a tape measure in to the field with them to be precise) everything from HALF THIS DISTANCE to infinity will be in sharp focus. (as sharp as your lens, camera and the steadiness of your tripod etc can achieve). This saves you having to use f16 or f22 to try and get the depth of field you need. At these apertures lenses show more distortion and are starting to perform less well than at f8 to f11 so you will be getting the best from your kit.
These instructions sound complicated so here is an example. I have a shot composed with a rock in the foreground (got to love those clichĂ©s!) The rock is one meter from my camera and I want it very sharp in the shot. I also want the mountain in the distance to be sharp too. My lens is set at 24mm. On the chart I read across from ’24mm’ in the left hand column and want to use f8 or f11 if I can. I see that at f8 the hyperfocal point is 2.4 meters. If i focus on this point everything from half this distance (1.2 meters) to infinity will be sharp but my rock is 1 meter away so it will be going soft at f8. However, I see that at f11 the hyperfocal point is 1.7meters from the camera. I know that if I focus 1.7 meters from the camera then everything from half that distance (850 cms) to infinity will be sharp – so I set the camera to f11, focus 1.7 meters away and firs the shot.
Beware checking for sharpness on your camera monitor. It is a guide and newer monitors are better but on most cameras the monitor is not a perfect way to check sharpness – the resolution is very poor and the image you are looking at is only a low resolution jpeg created on the fly from the RAW file. The only sure way to check sharpness is on your monitor back at the studio.
Free Downloadable Article from Advanced Photographer Magazine (November 2011). A Profile On Me and a Gallery of My Autumn Images
I was interviewed by Charlotte Griffiths at Advanced Photographer magazine about my work to accompany a gallery of some of my autumn images. You can download and read the article here as a pdf. I hope you enjoy it.
Free downloadable article of Fascinating Photography magazine (November 2011). A profile on me and a gallery of some of my images
I was interviewed for the Autumn edition of ‘Fascinating Photography’ magazine. You can download a free copy of the magazine here.
Free downloadable article from Outdoor Photography magazine (October 2012). A profile on me and a gallery of some of my images
I was interviewed by journalist Nick Smith about my images, particularly my more creative work for the October 2012 Outdoor Photography magazine in the UK. You can download a free copy of the article as a pdf Â here.