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Thread: What's your windy day technique?

  1. #11
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    Sometimes it is sure luck. I exposed the first 4x10 on the 8x10 sheet, but thought it was not worthwhile to try again on the other half due to high winds. This is out in the open on the top of Fort Point, unprotected from the strong wind through the Golden Gate except by my body.

    4x10 neg with 300mm lens, so the bridge is not far away. Ended up just fine and dandy. Chances are a second attempt would have been a blur. The rivets in the steel are nice and crisp -- a carbon print. I went up there with the 11x14, but had to hide behind a wall.

    The negative was also scanned and a 7 foot tall inkjet print was made -- so I got to see how sharp it is.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Girders_Golden_Gate_Bridge.jpg  
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  2. #12

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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    I hang a ten-pound lead trolling ball from the tripod center, not only for wind but interior vibrations that the floors pick up in high-rise buildings.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by archphotofisher; 13-Aug-2021 at 20:30. Reason: photo

  3. #13
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    If steady wind, then look for some kind of 'wind shade'. If it is periodic, with quiet periods, start the exposure when quiet. When the wind starts again, put the darkslide in front of the lens until it stops. Keep track of the exposure in your head.

  4. #14
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    No umbrella, windshade, or ordinary tent would last ten seconds in some of the winds I've shot an 8X10 in. It was hard enough just to stand up. More than once I had to use my own total body weight below the tripod and hang onto it with both hands just to keep everything from blowing away. The secret is to shoot during sustained wind. It's the gusts that shake things. Focus and composition under such circumstances is the real hell. I've made a few excellent very crisp shots in this manner, even on frozen lakes. But that's a young man's game, and I ain't so young any more. Now it's time to pamper my equipment, and maybe myself a little more too.

    I have one ice flower shot (not a real flower, but a small intricate ice crystal formation atop a frozen lake around 10,000 ft altitude) that required me to splay the spiked tripod feet as far outward as they could dig into the ice, to get the camera as low as possible while still allowing me to lay on the ice below, for sake of the lowest overall profile catching the wind. Then I selected a relatively wide angle lens for 8X10, a 240, to keep the bellows extension minimal. Then after composition and focus, I wrapped my big Goretex darkcloth tightly around the whole thing except for the lens opening. Studied the wind awhile to anticipate any gusts in the overall sustained howling wind, put myself below to weight and steady the system, with an especially long cable release of course. Figuring I wouldn't even bag a usable shot, I took two, and remarkably both came out totally crisp. That was rewarding, since I actually had to run over a mile with a heavy pack because the snow was too deep for my 4WD truck to get any further, and I was trying to get there soon after dawn, before fine ice detail began to thaw and collapse. Now if I tried to jog even ten yards with that kind of weight, I'd suffer miserable shoulder bursitis for the next four months. Dumb luck too? -probably.

  5. #15

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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    Quote Originally Posted by archphotofisher View Post
    I hang a ten-pound lead trolling ball from the tripod center, not only for wind but interior vibrations that the floors pick up in high-rise buildings.Click image for larger version. 

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    that's if you are prepared!! I mean, who carries that plus all that camera gear! yikes. YOu must be yoked!
    --

  6. #16

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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    No umbrella, windshade, or ordinary tent would last ten seconds in some of the winds I've shot an 8X10 in. It was hard enough just to stand up. More than once I had to use my own total body weight below the tripod and hang onto it with both hands just to keep everything from blowing away. The secret is to shoot during sustained wind. It's the gusts that shake things. Focus and composition under such circumstances is the real hell. I've made a few excellent very crisp shots in this manner, even on frozen lakes. But that's a young man's game, and I ain't so young any more. Now it's time to pamper my equipment, and maybe myself a little more too.
    that's some Gary Larson image right there man.
    --

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    Oh there were all kinds of Gary Larson toons that seemed wryly reminiscent of outdoor life. The one with the dead mauled hiker on lying on the forest floor, and the bears shuffling through his wallet stealing the credit cards. But my favorite was of the man in the white shorts and pith helmet holding up his camera, and and the shutter going "crick" as he photographed a leopard in a tree. The leopard's eyes popped wide open, and hanging all over various tree limbs were bits of clothing and little cameras hanging by their straps. Right on cue.

    And then there was the darkroom one where the man is exclaiming that he has finally got proof of Elvis, and Liz, and Bigfoot all being on the same UFO; and just as he is lifting the negative out of the developer, his wife pops open the darkroom door with a tray of lunch.

  8. #18

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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    Shoot handheld at 1/50th with my Crown Graphic.

  9. #19

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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    Technique #1: Patience. I've waited literally hours for a break in the wind to get a shot. (I wait a lot for light too...)

    Technique #2: Embrace the blur. Sometimes the movement adds to the emotion of the image. Flags fluttering, tree branches waiving, etc.

    Technique #3: Underexpose to get a faster shutter speed. Not optimal, but sometimes 1/15 or 1/30 sec. solves a lot of wind movement problems. If the shadows aren't all that important, sometimes an underexposed, but sharp, negative, is better than the inverse. Or, see if you can get away with less stopping down to achieve a faster shutter speed. Yes, you'll sacrifice some depth of field, so you may need to re-think the image a bit, say eliminate that pesky foreground object...

    Technique #4: (Related to #3) Use a shorter focal-length lens. With less need to stop down, you can often use a faster shutter speed. Also, less bellows extension makes the camera less of a sail in the wind.

    Technique #5: Pack up and forget the shot. Strong winds chase away the good images anyway

    Camera stabilization is important. In the field I carry a "folding bucket," basically a sturdy, waterproof nylon bag with strong handles. I can fill it with rocks and hang it from the tripod if needed. Shielding the camera with your body works too, as does finding a sheltered spot to set up. I've shot from inside my car a time or two on really windy days, setting up the camera behind an open window.

    Best,

    Doremus

  10. #20

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    Re: What's your windy day technique?

    Stay at home. I'm not that daft getting out is weather that isn't balmy. Think I have a cat as ancester somewhere in the family tree...
    Expert in non-working solutions.

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