Quiet Photographs

Old piling. Canon 70-200mm, 8 seconds @f45, ISO 50. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

Old piling. Canon 70-200mm, 8 seconds @f45, ISO 50. (Copyright 2011 / Andrew Boyd)

Are you ever attracted to ‘quiet photographs’? Photographs that slow you down and seem to make time stand still? I know that I am. I had seen this piling before but the light had never been interesting; it took a gray day in the early morning before I figured out how to shoot it.

The long exposure was the key to making something here: 8 seconds, in order to smooth out the little bit of chop on the water. I used a tripod, of course, but also an electronic cable release, to minimize any vibration.

Hi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Gallery

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

7 Comments on "Quiet Photographs"

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  1. Enivea says:

    I’m always attracted to quiet photographs. This image most certainly inspires me to try much slower settings than I usually use.

  2. That’s certainly a big piece of why it works for this image. Obviously this approach won’t work for everything, but it’s good to have in your skillset for when it’s appropriate.

  3. Albin says:

    I like the reminder to look for and frame quiet things. I think the image is effective, but have to say that the water struck me right away as having a “smoothed” slow shutter quality, that we’re getting used to from the technique of “smoothed” waterfalls so popular for now, later confirmed by your writeup. Forcing the effect by technique is different than capturing the quiet of naturally still water one is lucky enough to find on occasion.

  4. Thanks for your thoughts, Albin. Each image and each shooting situation are unique, aren’t they? I think we respond creatively based upon what we encounter. As far as “smoothed” waterfalls, that technique is as old as photography, and still a good one when appropriate.

  5. Daniel says:

    The photograph is amazing! I truly thought that it was a black and white picture at first. As far as ‘smoothing’ is concern, I think if the setting is appropriate, any technique should be use to bring out the best possible image.

  6. Thanks for your thoughts, Daniel. And your initial thought was correct: this is a black and white conversion, using the BW function in PS Adjustment Layers.

  7. Daniel says:

    Thanks for clarifying my original assessment Andrew.
    By the way, is this picture taken over a lake or a pond?

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