Wednesday, March 02, 2011


The creeks are all running high around here right now, a result of the "Spring" melt. I went down to the Duck Ponds with my tripod and neutral density filters to take slow shutter shots of the moving water. Neutral density filters block light so you can set your shutter speed very slow without overexposing in order to get certain photographic effects; in this case, turning moving water into silky smooth flows, like the fountain I shot in Newport two years ago. Those gorgeous waterfall shots in National Geographic? This is how they get them.

This is the color version, using the Exposure 2 Photoshop plug-in in the Fuji Provia 100F setting.

And this is the black & white version, again using the Exposure 2 plug-in, this time using the gold split color toning emulation. Color toning is a process for tinting, and sometimes preserving, black and white prints in the process of printing to paper. Selenium toning is a popular archival process, converting metallic silver to silver selenide. In a diluted toning solution, selenium toning gives a red-brown tone, while a strong solution gives a purple-brown tone. But selenium doesn't create a completely stable print, so it's often split with the archival Gold Protective Solution (GP-1) formula, which uses a 1% gold chloride stock solution with sodium or potassium thiocyanate. This creates a print with warm brown shadows and magenta midtones which is often used in black & white portraits, especially bridal portraits. I had an idea that there were enough whites and lighter midtones, much like a human face, in this shot, so I tried the gold split emulation as an experiment. I think it worked! For me, it especially emphasizes the creamy silkiness of the blurred water.

Anyhow, thinking of slow shutter speeds used for creative purposes somehow put the term "slowhand" into my brain, which made me think of old Slowhand himself, Eric "Slowhand" Clapton, and for me the quintessential Slowhand tune is "Layla", so here's a great version of that for your listening pleasure. Enjoy!

Photos © 2011 by A. Roy Hilbinger


  1. Roy : Not only am I enjoying your Masterclasses, I am also learning quite a bit as well. And, by the way, a slightly belated Happy Birthday my friend.

  2. perfect song tie-in!

    that color shot looks as if it was snagged from national geographic! thanks for the tips.

  3. Wow! Both of those are spectacular images!

  4. Are you saying that you blurred the exposure via Photoshop and not the camera? I've completely forgotten how to do that with exposure. I learned on the course I did last year but just forgot. Must play.