Neutral Density Playtime

Dalcairney waterfall

As I was a very good boy last year 1, Father Christmas gave me some neutral-density filters for my camera 2, and so today Jazz and I headed off to the Loch Doon area for a play.  The idea was to experiment with long-exposure shots of flowing water and after the recent rain this area was ideal.  We spent the day pottering about Ness Glen, Carrick Lane and Stinchar Bridge and various stops en route.  Jazz now realises that the sight of a tripod means she’ll be left to amuse herself while her staff does his Ansel Adams-wannabe routine.  Here are some of the results (count yourself lucky: the Missus had to feign interest at seeing the whole set 3).

Stinchar Bridge falls

Stinchar bridge, again

Tree stumps in Loch Bradan

Tree stumps in Ness Glen

And here are a few things I learned 4:

  1. Waterfalls are wet. 5 So, take some lens cloths to wipe the lens and filters.
  2. Tree stumps make acceptable substitutes for fish-boxes in inland photography.
  3. Tripods are a pain but essential.  These are also useful in prodding stubborn Spaniels.
  4. If you don’t have a fancy remote release device 6 (and I don’t) then use the 2 second self-timer setting on your camera to avoid shake caused by cold fingers stabbing at the button.
  5. Don’t expect a Springer Spaniel to stay still for a 4 second exposure.  Jazz’s record was 1.3 seconds – and that was because an early lunch was promised.


  1. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but huge volumes of Brownie Points deservedly came my way.
  2. Ask Mr Google…
  3. SO important to edit your wedding vows: don’t go with the default settings!
  4. All part of my mission to enrich your life.
  5. Q: “And your specialist subject?” A: “The Bleedin’ Obvious”. © B. Fawlty
  6. Which, although reassuringly expensive, will be the first thing to get left at the top of a hill resulting in a conversation with your camera assistant involving some of the earthier Anglo-Saxon terms on returning to the car 3 hours later.