Magic Cloth at low light


Waiting for the moon to align with the the Klettur. Midnight in June on Snæfellsness.

Tagged: , Iceland , lóndrangar , Magic cloth , moon

“The Dude abides”!

What a fantastic moment it was to have the opportunity to photograph such wonderful scenes in a fantastic setting.

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” ― Abraham Lincoln

The Magic Cloth Photography Technique

The Magic Cloth Photography Technique is a an exciting technique to expose a high dynamic range scene.

Maybe you like to avoid burning the highlights in the sky like a typical sunset scene, the The Magic Cloth Photography Technique is a great tool to have in your pocket.

Hints for Magic Cloth photography

What you need:

ND Filter: (only if you are shooting during the day)

I prefer circular filters for rainy weather.

strong Tripod:

I love to get as low as possible for an interesting perspective so folding legs are certainly great characters to look out for on your tripod. Arrange your tripod so it is sturdy. Magic Cloth movemnts can cause vibrations. A solid tripod is good practice for top quality long exposure photography.

Try not to raise the center column unless you really need to. The center column is the weakest link of the set up.

If your tripod has a hook , hang something from it to give extra stability. Many travel photographers carry a special bag to put stones in to give a heavy weight which will support the tripod nicely – fine for Magic Cloth photography.

Long Exposure links…

Long Exposure Photography Tips

Remote release:

Exposure times can sometimes be longer than the 30 seconds the camera will let you do. Having a Remote release (sometimes called “infra red Shutter release) will allow you to expose: as long as your battery pack allows.

Black cloth:

Pick a big cloth like a large sock, or the same size black card. Should be able to totally cover the whole surface of the lens. Better to be Dark. A dark colour is best. The cloth can be any shape, but you need to be able to create a straight edge.

What you do:

Camera settings

Use a dark filter or darkness for a longer exposure time, then over expose the picture by 2 – 3 stops.

Exposure time

There is an advantage to a long Exposure time. 2-5 seconds requires a fast, but smooth movement to darken the sky within a reflex time. 5-10 seconds gives you a extra exposure of the foreground.

Magic Cloth Motion

In most cases I bring the cloth down with a fast action and up slowly.

Different Methods

Vary the Motion to capture many short exposures of the sky, rather than one initial exposure (30 sec + exposures only).

Spot meter for the highlights and {multiply that shutter speed by 3 or 4|then times four to get the total shutter speed.

Check out some more Ice and Auroras on our Photo Tours.

Many thanks for visiting!

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