Big Stopper

I’m not sure whether ‘big stopper’ is a brand name but for my purposes it is simply a 10 stop neutral density filter. Mine is from B&H in NY and the brand is B&W (confusing). It is the cheap version not the one with all sorts of fancy coatings. The reviews of this filter warned that it can give colour shifts. I wanted to try a landscape or two with it.

At 5.40am the alarm went off and I struggled out of bed and headed to Nai Chung to see what was about. It was a slow burn dawn and I decided it was worth trying the big stopper. The sea was already quite smooth and a fishing boat sat nicely below the horizon. I set the Fuji up on a tripod, used cable release and was shooting exposures up to 30 seconds. I used the 10-24mm zoom.

Here are some of the results. You will see that I have played around with the tones – a photo is free to interpret as you or I wish. There is no right or wrong. Photo 3 is a crop of photo 4.




NaiChungWAAs always I was on the look out for bugs and I was rewarded sparingly but adequately with this beetle.Platycorynus undatus

Platycorynus undatus

I could have done with a bit more light to increase both shutter speed and DoF but it will do for a record shot. No cigar.

And finally a standard landscape – no wide angle here – from the roadside car park on Sai Sha Road looking out over Kei Ling Ha Lo Wai:






26 thoughts on “Big Stopper

  1. I have the same filter, Andrew, and it is a lot fun! You got some very nice results on the clouds and water. My first day, I used on my 100-400 and could not understand why they were very blurred. Checked the tripod over and over again before realising the vibration setting was on on my lens! That beetle is remarkable and beautifully captured here in all his metallic glory :0)

    • Yes James, I had to remember to switch the IS off too. It is easily done. The beetle was a bonus on the way back to the car. Worth the early start.

  2. Interesting to see the cropping – it makes the tangerine sky more intense. Don’t understand your technical stuff Andrew, I’m just happy to enjoy the final result 🙂

    • I’m sure you will rise early when migration starts John. If I get an appointment to have the ticker done and it works then I shall be out and about again.

  3. I am echoing the same sentiments from previous comments. All lovely images.
    The beetle, with its metallic and dewy grandour, is magnificent.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

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