Slowing down

One of my colleagues encouraged me to join 52 Frames, a weekly photo challenge. This week’s challenge is “slow shutter.” I decided to go very slow, using a “Big Stopper” filter for my camera. The Big Stopper is a dark piece of glass that is the equivalent 10 stops. It allows me to have the shutter open for an extended period of time, even in broad daylight, which has the effect of smoothing flowing water.

For the challenge I set up along the Grand River, at the Sixth Street Bridge across from Riverview Center. Shooting normally, the shutter length was just 1/40 second.

17mm, f/11 at 1/40 second

Using the “Little Stopper” filter that is the equivalent of six stops, I was able to take a 25 second exposure, smoothing out the river and catching the reflection of the clouds.

17mm, f/11 at 25 seconds.

While this makes a lovely photograph, I decided to try something different. I used the Big Stopper, enabling me to take an even longer exposure of 40 seconds. While the shutter was open, I slowly zoomed in from 17mm to 40mm, which produced this photograph.

f/11 at 40 seconds.

I quite liked the results and tried the same technique downstream, photographing the Plante Moran building that overlooks the Sixth Street Dam.

f/11 at 30 seconds
f/11 at 30 seconds

The results are interesting, I think, and worth further exploration