Magic Cloth at low light


Flying Dutchman spotted of the coast of Iceland. See this apparition for real in my Gallery.

Posted by Iceland Aurora Photo Tours on 2016-02-14 21:19:33

Tagged: , Iceland , ice , ice lagoon , ice beach , glacial laggon , glacier , Jökulsárlón , jokulsarlon , long exposure , low light , Magic cloth , Breiðamerkursandur

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Communication of Space!

“My aesthetic gets simpler every year as I rely less on gimmicks and more on powerful content.” ― Anna Kuperberg

The Magic Cloth Photography Technique

The Magic Cloth Photography Technique is a an exciting method to record a high dynamic range scene.

If you want to give more exposure to the shadows like a normal sunset scene, the The Magic Cloth Photography Technique is a good tool for your camera kit – so convenient and inexpensive.

Hints for Magic Cloth photography

What you need:

Neutral Density Filter: (Not nightime, only day!)

I prefer round filters for damp weather.

Heavy Tripod:

I like to get low down for an interesting perspective so no center column are really good options to look out for on your tripod. Set up your tripod so it becomes strong. Magic Cloth movemnts can cause vibrations. A solid tripod is essential for fine art long exposure photography.

Don’t heighten the center column unless it is important. The center column is the weakest link of the system.

If your tripod has a hook , hang something from it to give more sturdiness. Many travel photographers carry an empty “rock bag” to place rocks and stones to give a better strength which will stabilize the tripod well – great for long exposure work.

Some more Long Exposure tips…

Long Exposure Photography Tips

Remote release:

Exposures can be longer than the 30 seconds your camera will allow. Having a Remote release (sometimes called “Remote) will allow you to expose: as long as your power allows.

Black cloth:

Choose a large cloth like a mouse-mat, or the same size black card. Has to be able to cover the lens completely. Better to be Dark. A non-reflective colour is better. The cloth can be any shape, but you need to be able to create a straight edge.

What you do:

Camera settings

Start with a dark filter or darkness for a to acheive a long exposure, then over expose the photo by two to three stops.

Shutter speed

It is easier to set a long Shutter speed. 2-5 seconds requires a quick, but controlled action to darken the sky within a split second. 5-10 seconds allows for a controlled exposure of the foreground.

Magic Cloth Movement

I usually lower the cloth as fast as I can and bring it up carefully.


Vary the Movement to allow a dozen short exposures of the sky, rather than one initial exposure (30 sec & over exposures only).

Spot meter for the highlights and {multiply that shutter speed by four|then times four to get the total exposure time.

Witness more Ice and Auroras on our Photo Workshops.

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