15 stops and be there longer

I just finished teaching my “Expand Your Creativity” workshop in Mono Lake, CA and the group had a wonderful time and took some great images.  I went a few days early to scout out locations and do some exploring on my own. When I first got to the area there were great cloud formations and I spent time at the lake and also going into Yosemite National Park, up to Tuolumne Meadows. It was the first time I did long exposures in Yosemite.

One of the techniques I teach during this workshop is taking long exposures in the middle of the day using very strong neutral density filters, 15 stops. With a 15-stop neutral density filter a typical 1/125 of a second shutter speed becomes a 4 -minute exposure. During this 4 -minute exposure, clouds streak through the image, creating interesting effects.  The really fun part of this is you have no idea what the image will really look like until after the exposure when you view it on the back of your camera.

For some of the students this was the first time they were using their filters.  So I taught them the technique of first finding their 1/125 sec exposure and then changing to Manual mode and the bulb setting and how to use either their built in Bulb Timer or external remotes with Bulb Timers to create the 4 -minute exposures. We practiced the techniques before we had clouds so that when the opportunity presented itself everyone would be ready.

Everyone got great photos and we were very fortunate to have several opportunities to experiment with this technique over the course of the workshop. (Unlike last year where we never had a cloud all week!)

Here are a few images I made during my scouting time and during the class.  If you are interested in learning how to do this think about joining me next year for one of my "Expanding Your Creativity" workshops!


_TEL9117.jpgTufa Arch, Mono Lake; 4 min; f/9; ISO 64; 15mm; 15 stop Neutral Density Filter



_TEL9223.jpgTuolumne River, Yosemite National Park, 4 min; f/11; ISO 64; 24mm; 15 stop Neutral Density Filter


_TEL9406.jpgSouth Tufa, Mono Lake; 4 min; f/9; ISO 80; 15mm; 15 stop Neutral Density Filter


_TEL0359.jpgSouth Tufa, Mono Lake; 4 min; f/8; ISO 64; 15mm; 15 stop Neutral Density Filter


There are still opportunities to join my photographing eagles in Homer, Alaska in March; tigers in India in April; and bears at Lake Clark National Park, Alaska in July; and wildlife and scenery in Namibia, Africa. For more info go to https://www.lewiskemper.com/workshops