Magic Cloth Ice Beach – Long Exposure Photography Video

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Nature Photography Video

This tutorial video comes from the ice beach at Jokulsarlon. The glacier ice on the black sand creates fantastic photo opportunities, especially when the sky lights up at sunrise during the winter months. The colours of the sunset add depth to images.

The Magic Cloth Technique allows control over the sky exposure and allows great movement over the long exposure. Filmed during our recent Winter workshops.


Study the ice form

It can be worthwhile to take some time to move around the ice to study the way the light changes. It changes again when a wave washes the black sand. The white background shows a completely different form of the ice compared with a black sand base. This not only changes the appearance of the glacier ice, but your exposure can vary greatly.

The light interacting with the ice is a mixture of reflection and refraction. Darker ice reflects well and crystal ice refracts well. Care must be taken when studying up close, it is easy to be caught by surprise by a rogue wave.

Magic Cloth

I am using TV mode (shutter mode) with +2 stops compensation. I have set the shutter to 4 seconds for a very simple Magic Cloth movement. As soon as the shutter opens, I lower the cloth over the lens. Then slowly up to the horizon and working the area below for the remaining seconds.

Northern Lights on Diamond Beach

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omio Iceland

Magic Cloth & Northern Lights
photographing the aurora

The main requirement for using the Magic Cloth Technique is having a long exposure, so Northern Lights photography is an obvious choice.