Sunglasses

February 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Mid of January I was out driving along the coast, wanting to do a quick seascape. The weather was foggy and the water fairly calm, perfect for what I wanted to do photographically.

Having recently read a blog post by Paul Sanders about his minimalistic long exposure seascapes, I was very inspired to try out something similar if I could find something interesting to photograph. I passed this kind of boat lift, out in the water, parked the car and got down to the waters edge.

As soon as I had gotten my tripod and camera set up, I realized that my filterholder and filters where lying comfortably at home on the couch where I had put them as to not forget them as I packed my camera bag. Being without filters, I tried come combinations with the largest possible apperture, lowest ISO etc., but without really getting an exposure long enough to give that smooth water that I was hoping and looking for.

In desperation I walked back to my car and got several pair of sunglasses, in the hopes that one of them could work as a kind of ND filter. The outcome was surprising, in a positive way, because it worked - but with a noticeable color cast. 

The sunglasses must have somehow toyed with the cameras auto white balance. Sure I should have metered a WB manually, or used the cloudy WB, but I'm a run-n-gun kinda photographer so that detail eluded me as I was more busy trying to get a long enough shutter speed. 

With a little post processing it became kind of alright, in its own special kind of way.

Sunglasse as ND filer = Noticeable color castTried using a pair of sunglasses as an ND filter in the lack of an actual filter, which resulted in a noticeable colorcast. Some may like it.   Corrected sunglass imageWith a little correction, it became alright in its own special kind of way.

If the pink color is to much it's always possible to convert it to black and white, which I was actually thinking of doing.

  Sunglass shot in b&w

Using the sunglasses also resulted in some fun artistic variations, as here (below) where the glasses where about to fall off and caused me to knock the camera mid exposure. I like the eery feel that the motion blur has added, so much so that I might try to deliberately create it the next time I'm out photographing.

My intention with this post isn't to inspire anyone to do seascapes with sunglasses, simply an encouragement to not give up when you are missing that "vital" piece of gear. There is probably an image to be had if you allow yourself to be a little creative and improvise. 


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