It’s been a while since I had an easier day when I could go out and explore. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge on Maryland’s Eastern Shore near Cambridge Maryland is home to all sorts of wildlife. I usually only make it there once, maybe twice a year and it tends to be in wintertime.
Heading out in the pitch black darkness, I drove the hour and half to arrive at the refuge before sunrise. I was fortunate that the rangers opened the gate before sunrise actually occurred so I was able to get into a decent location to photograph the sunrise. But for once, Skyfire was wrong and the color was really brief and a good half an hour before the sunrise. The skies were too overcast to do anything with the rising sun, but there was cloud cover that I decided to work with.
Installing the Lee 10-stop Big Stopper onto my NiSi Filter system, I began to work really long exposures set on the Bulb mode. The NiSi Filter System is great to work with as the attachment that holds the 100 x 150mm filters that I use can be easily removed so that you can compose and set the focus point before placing the Big Stopper in front of the lens.
The image above is a two-minute exposure with ISO 200, and f/20 for my settings. After cleaning the image in Lightroom, I decided to take it a step further and transferred it to my iPad to add a creative edit using the DistressedFX App. I would venture to say that it probably took longer for me to capture the image than to add the creative edits.
This style of images is a new series I’ve been working on this year. Reminiscent of the Hudson River Art School from the Mid-19th Century these images are American Landscapes that are given a editing treatment with a sense of Romanticism. Separate from my other images of birds, flowers and such you can see these images when I post them on my Instagram page.
It’ll be great to see you there and let’s see how we can inspire each other.