I recently spent a few nights up at Lake St Clair and made the time to snoop around the Watersmeet area, where the Cuvier River and Hugel River meet before flowing into the Lake. It was a magnificently still and overcast day, meaning perfect conditions for photographing the forest.
Interval Composite Mode – Your very own In Camera ND filter!
A feature I have been using a lot lately is the “Interval Composite” drive mode (known as “Multiple Exposure” on the Nikon and Canon systems). This drive mode (on the Pentax) allows anything up to 2000 exposures to be recorded onto one image file, allowing great long exposure effects – particularly when moving water is involved. Compare the two shots below:
As you can see the water is extraordinarilly smooth on the second shot which is essentially a 40 second exposure taken in broad daylight. You can basically think of this feature as an in-camera ND filter!
Using Interval Composite/Multiple Exposure
There are a few menu options to select when using this mode. First, you will notice “Average”; “Additive” and “Bright”. For shots such as this (ie during the day) make sure you are on “Average”. “Additive” means what it says – each exposure will “add” to your image meaning you will be overexposed before long. Try using additive for star trails at night instead
Another tip for this shooting mode is to set your camera to manual focus to avoid having the camera auto focus prior to each exposure which simply isn’t necessary. Use aperture priority, so that if light changes while you are shooting (eg the sun goes behind some clouds) your camera will compensate.
Visiting Lake St Clair and the Cuvier River
Lake St Clair is a wonderful part of Tasmania and a lot less “touristy” than other locations so is well worth a few days of your time, especially now that winter is here.