A DETAILED look at X Pro 1 long exposures….


The Fuji X Pro 1 camera system is VERY WELL suited to this style of photography!

Outer Banks FIshing Pier Sunrise, Fuji X Pro 1 + 10 stop ND filter

Avalon Pier Sunrise, 30 second exposure

I just got back from leading an advanced photo workshop & excursion to the outer banks on Nags Head Island in the Outer Banks!  The subject was HDR and Long Exposure Photography.  It was an amazing workshop filled with great students and we visited amazing locations.  What was so special about this was the sunrise locations at the Avalon Pier (which was broken into 3 parts) and the Outer Banks Fishing Pier.  The wave conditions were a little high due the the North Easter having just passed and made for tough long exposures due the the required shutter speeds!

As you can see with the image on the left, the waters surface was still a little bit misty even with a 30 second exposure.  The light was simply too bright and the waves too large to get a slower shutter speed.  Still, the image is pleasing and as you can see from the blue sky it is just after the sunrise was finished.

Ok, some discussion on equipment is in order here.

  • A sturdy tripod is a must.  It must be able to hold the camera steady even if the water washes over the tripod legs.  I use a large Gitzo Carbon Fiber Tripod with the Really Right Stuff large ball head on top.  The X Pro 1 has the Really Right Stuff L bracket installed.  This system works very well.
  • A remote shutter release is also a must.  The X Pro 1 can only use a mechanical one so I have two in my bag, a 14 inch and a 40 inch.  Both have a BULB lock which enables you to lock the shutter open.
  • A 10 stop and 6 stop ND filter.  I like the B+W versions due to their German Schott Glass construction.  BUT, be aware, the X Pro 1 (in fact most camera systems) cannot meter through the 10 stop ND filter.  If you have a hand held spot meter you can get accurate exposures even with the ND filter!
  • A lens hood is an absolute must for long exposures.  This will keep light from striking the objective element of your lens and reducing contrast and causing lens flare.
  • Know where the sun is going to rise!  There are several great apps for smart phones out there that will tell you this right on the spot!

For rough seas, the longer you can get the exposure the smoother the water will become.  The X Pro 1 will allow up to a 30 second exposure in the T mode. You simply use the arrow keys to change the exposure up or down, but 30 seconds is the max.  For longer, you must use the BULB mode.  The Fuji has a very well designed  BULB mode!  When you trip the shutter, a counter will start on the back LCD screen counting up!  This makes for very easy timing control.  Here then is an example of a 90 second exposure in both Black & White and color.

Outer Banks FIshing Pier Sunrise, 90 second exposure with the 35mm lens. Exposure: 90 seconds, f/16, ISO 200, 10 stop ND filter.

Outer Banks FIshing Pier Sunrise, 90 second exposure with the 35mm lens. Exposure: 90 seconds, f/16, ISO 200, 10 stop ND filter.

Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens

Not all long exposures require such a long shutter speed.  For some a shorter speed can generate a nice image as well.  Here are two for your consideration.  The first is simply a daylight shot of a creek mouth into the bay but with the exposure slow enough to smooth out the water and show a little pattern there! This was a 15 second exposure using the incredible Voigtlander Heliar 75mm f/1.8 Lens with the Fuji M mount adapter shot at f/16 and ISO 200.

Mid Day Creek Mouth, CV 75mm f/1.8 lens.

You can see patterns in the water just at the point on the right side.

The second image is of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse at sunrise. This was a .3 second exposure at f/3.2.  This image was a bit challenging as I wanted detail in the front of the lighthouse.  I used a Sekonic 758 DR hand held spot meter to measure the building and set the exposure accordingly. This is a very easy to use metering system and will NEVER fail you in use.  Sometimes you simply cannot use the cameras metering system to get the proper exposure.  This is always a factor when you are using ND filter attached to the lens!

For this shot I used the Fuji 35mm lens with a lens hood attached to keep incident light from striking the objective element at an angle.

X-Pro1-Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse Sunrise

Here are a few more sample images for you to think about.  I hope that you enjoy them!

Avalon Pier Sunrise

Outer Banks Fishing Pier Sunrise, 60 second exposure

Sunrise

60 second exposure, Outer Banks FIshing Pier Sunrise

So, take heart, get a ND filter and go out and try some long exposures at sunrise or sunset. If you do not have access to the ocean then use the exposures to slow the motion of the Clouds!  There are all sorts of possibilities out there for you to experiment with!

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33 comments on “A DETAILED look at X Pro 1 long exposures….

  1. Pingback: A DETAILED look at X Pro 1 long exposures…. | Fuji X-Life | Scoop.it

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  7. Mark,

    As always great stuff. you had to add the part about the light meter didn’t you…I have been putting this off but I guess it’s time to make the investment. was hoping the cameras meter was good enough but I guess in the long run this saves time from chimping and retaking. My ND filter is good to go but perhaps a present to myself this season will be the light meter.

    thanks again for a well written and great article and as always….beautiful images.

  8. Thanks for this guide Mark I am very interested at attempting this as soon as my XE1 arrives and I get my lense situation in order hah! A few questions, I also need to make the investment into a light meter, because I certainly can see the necessity for secondary metering in this style of photography. I have never used ND filters before, I was wondering how much do you compensate typically? And do you recommend shooting at f/16? And one more thing, a light meter will it have a spot to imput the fact you are using a 10 stop nd filter or would you just subtract 10 stops

    Thanks!

    • Colin, the compensation for the filter factor is dependent upon which meter you buy. If you get the new Sekonic 758 DR then yes, it has a mode where you can dial in the compensation for the filter. You would then simply take a meter reading then push a button and get the correct exposure for the filter attached! Pretty cool. Yes, you need to use the smallest aperture for long exposures. The issue is getting the longest shutter speed and you will have to use everything you have to get that!

      Thanks for the comments!

  9. Pingback: A DETAILED look at X Pro 1 long exposures…. | Travelling Light | Scoop.it

  10. Hi
    Outstanding colours,hues and contrast. I am totally new to lond exposure photography and would like to know few things before I give it a go with my X-PRO1. How do you focus? and when do you focus? Which sekonic meter reader would you recommend? I understand their 758DR is top of the range and very expensive. Thanks in advance

    • Thanks for the comment! I focus prior to placing the 10 stop ND filter on the lens, either auto or manual but when done switch the camera to manual to keep it in place. I use the 758DR meter. It is by far the best. But if you can find a used 508 it is almost as good!

      • Hi markhilliardatelier,
        Many thanks for your prompt reply. As I have said the whole concept is like rocket science to me,And with your help it gets easier to understand.Did you have to calibrate Sekonic 758DR for X-Pro1? And when metering do you meter the highlight or shadow part of the scene? I understand they have Seconik 478DR which is a little bit cheaper,any downside to that compared to 758DR? Again,many thanks for your generosity…

      • Hi Mark,
        Thanks for your prompt response. With regards to spot metering,where do you base your reading? i.e Do you spot meter the Shadow or Highlight part of the scene? Did you have to calibrate 758DR to work with X-Pro1? Once again thanks for you great sense of sharing.

      • With the 758DR I will take my first reading on an 18% area then several more from the brightest to the darkest. Up to 9 spots can be taken and then averaged together in meter to give the compete dynamic range of the entire scene. The meter will also display the dynamic range of up to 3 different cameras on it so you know right off the bat if you are able to capture the entire dynamic range on the camera in 1 shot or if you have to do an HDR series and how many in the series. There is simply no other meter out there that gives you this ability. It comes with a great peice of software to measure the dynamic range of up to 3 camera systems and store them in the meter as well.

      • With the 758DR I will take my first reading on an 18% area then several more from the brightest to the darkest. Up to 9 spots can be taken and then averaged together in meter to give the compete dynamic range of the entire scene. The meter will also display the dynamic range of up to 3 different cameras on it so you know right off the bat if you are able to capture the entire dynamic range on the camera in 1 shot or if you have to do an HDR series and how many in the series. There is simply no other meter out there that gives you this ability. It comes with a great peice of software to measure the dynamic range of up to 3 camera systems and store them in the meter as well.

  11. Pingback: A DETAILED look at X Pro 1 long exposures…. | Everything about Fuji X-Pro1 and Fuji X-E1 | Scoop.it

  12. Brilliant article and fantastic images. I am glad I came across your site. Thanks for sharing. I’ve only just fired off my first long exposures this week with the Fuji. I have 2 x 6 stop B+W filters. I’ve been experimenting with image stacking 30 second exposures. Gives fantastic results. I have been bracketing my exposures as well. I shot a panorama yesterday that was 3 image locations x 3 bracketes +1, -1,0 and each bracket was made up of 4 exposures of the same length stacked. Seems laborious but works well when you don’t have enough stops of ND during the day! There are other benefits like needing less stops of ND filter and the ability to use wider apertures if required. The downside obviously being more processing time.

  13. Hi Mark,

    I was just using photoshop for stacking. Not using any of the fancy interpolation methods or focus stacking techniques and I use the ‘mean’ stack mode which I believe just uses the mathematical mean of colour value at each pixel location. Seems to work well and provides more flexibility than shooting longer exposures as it allows you to check your exposure more quickly than waiting for a longer exposure. You know us young people and our petulance!

  14. Pingback: A DETAILED look at X Pro 1 long exposures…. | Photografy | Scoop.it

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  17. Good stuff, and nice colors. For black and white try the ‘wet rocks’ preset in nik filters for aperture. I think you will very much apreciate it with those pier shots :)

    Take care,
    Rafal

  18. Pingback: A DETAILED look at X Pro 1 long exposures&helli...

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