Magic Cloth Images

Dawn Ice

Love to be able to pull the colours from these winter morning shots.

Time lapse video:

Tagged: , iceland , jokulsarlon , phototours , magiccloth

Good Morning photographers!

What a fantastic moment it was to have the chance to photograph such wonderful scenes in a fantastic location.

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” ― Diane Arbus

The Magic Cloth Photography Technique

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

Maybe you have to balance the highlights in the sky with the shadows on the ground like a normal sunrise beach, the The Magic Cloth Photography Technique is a good tool to carry and flexible for your needs.

Magic Cloth photo tips


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

I prefer screw-on filters for damp conditions.

Heavy Tripod:

I like to get down to the ground for better details in the foreground so no center column are certainly great options to look out for choosing your tripod. Set up your tripod so it is strong. Magic Cloth movemnts can cause vibrations. A solid tripod is necessary for top quality long exposure photography.

Try not to raise the center column unless it is important. The center column is the least stable part of the set up.

Sometimes your tripod has a hook between the legs, suspend things from it to provide better strength. Many travel photographers carry a bag to place rocks and stones to give a good weight which will stabilize the tripod well – even in strong winds.

Some more Long Exposure photography info…

Shoot Stunning Seascapes With These Long Exposure Tips

Shutter bulb:

Exposures can sometimes be longer than the 30 sec your camera will allow. Having a Shutter bulb (sometimes called “infra red Shutter release) will allow you to expose: as long as your battery allows.

Black cloth:

Pick a big cloth like a hat, or black card of similar size. It should be large enough to totally cover the glass. Better to be Dark. A non-reflective colour is preferable. Use any shaped cloth, as long as you can get a straight edge.

The Magic Cloth Technique:

Camera settings

Use a dark filter or low light for a for a slower shutter speed, then over expose the image by 2 – 3 stops.

Exposure time

There are benefits to using a long Exposure time. 2-5 sec requires a fast, but smooth movement to cover the sky within a reflex time. 5-10 sec lets you have a controlled exposure of the middleground.

Magic Cloth Movement

In many conditions I bring the cloth down quickly and up slowly.

Different Methods

Vary the Movement to capture several short exposures of the sky, rather than one initial exposure (30 sec or more exposures only).

Use your spot meter for the sky and {multiply that shutter speed by |then x 4 to get the total shutter speed.

Witness more Ice and Auroras on our Photo Workshops.

Thanks for reading!

“I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”
— Diane Arbus

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Photo Blog : Magic Cloth Image focus – Godafoss Red

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