Murrays Mill

March 06, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Murray's Mill

Even though it was still cold (30's) it seemed to be warming up from earlier in the morning.  But, the water didn't help with the cold.  

We were shooting "Long Exposure" shots, that means the shutter is open for 1,2,3 or more seconds.  To do this in anything other than very dark conditions you need a Neutral Density Filter on the camera's lens.  This is like a pair of sunglasses for your camera.  They come in a lot of different #'s of the shade.  From 2-10 or more. I was using (2) of these. a 4 - kind of not as dark as sunglasses, and an 8 - very dark, to allow me to take what would have been a 1/300th of a second shot and slow it down to 2 seconds, without it being just a white image.

Roy and I moved around trying to get a good angle on the mill and the water. 

Murray's MillMurray's MillStill not the right angle Murray's MillMurray's MillJust not the right angle

These angles just didn't work for me. 

Decided to move the tripod (have to use a tripod to do 2-3 second shots, or you would have nothing but a blur) out into the stream. 

Standing on a rock, and having the camera about 1 foot or so from the water, was able to get this 2 second shot.

Murray's MillMurray's MillMuch better angle, like the rock in the foreground

The thing I love about water and long exposure shots is how it "smooths" everything out.  If you notice the white streaks, those are just bubbles moving along with the water. So, in 2 seconds they have moved about 1-2 feet.  

Here is a closeup of the mill wheel and water, to give you an idea of how this smoothing looks up-close.

Murray's MillMurray's Millclose up of the water and wheel

It almost looks like writing on the water.  The mill wheel was not moving r it would have been a blur too.  In this case it helped a lot with the look of the shot. 

One thing I was not happy with was the sky, it was overcast and cloudy.  This helps when shooting these long exposure shots, but it doesnt do much for the appeal of the image.  So, with a little help from photoshop i used a stock sky (just an image of the sky i received with another editing program) and inserted it into the photo, but putting it "under" the image, and erasing the parts of the image where i wanted the sky to show through.  Its not a perfect thing, but it does look a lot better than the orig. (Right?)

Murray's MillMurray's MillColor balanced, cleaned up some, then added a new sky

You might not have caught i, but i also used a blue tinted "brush" to change the color of the water in the reflection to match the blue of the sky.

Little things like this get noticed.  It also helps to sell the idea that the sky really was blue. 


I liked this look, but it just didn't "pop" for me.  If you have noticed I like oversaturated looks (lots of color) and more of a painting style.
Took the image into Topaz Glow and added some "fur and feathers" (yea its strange but it seems to work for me) to the image.  Never use 100% of the effect, more like 20-25 at most as it will distort things a lot after that level.

After some playing with settings, I applied the effect and imported it back into Lightroom. once there i always check the white balance, and tweak the color, brightness, etc., till i get the look i want.  

Missing the MarkMissing the MarkThe water is not running the mill its shooting past it.

Final Image: (you can click the image above and purchase a print)

Here is a close up of the same close-up from above, allows you to see the difference from the orig.

Murray's MillMurray's Millclose up of the water and wheel with the Topaz effect

What do you think?

Do you like these kinds of posts?

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.





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