Magic Cloth Technique – the basics

Brunahorn

Exposure control

The Magic Cloth Technique is a simple way to control the exposure on different parts of your scene. Typically the sky is brighter than the land. Our cameras will find a balanced exposure, but generally this is too bright for the sky or too dark for the land. During the Magic Cloth Technique, the photographer will compensate by +2 stops. If you take a shot with +2 compensation, you will see that the sky is completely blown but some parts of the landscape are very well exposed.


Dark Filters

The basics of the Magic Cloth Technique is to use a cloth to cover the blown out areas and thus give them less exposure… this can only be done if you have a long exposure, so a Neutral Density filter or ND is used. You can buy these in different strengths, but I like ND6 – you have to check it is a real 6 stop filter as different suppliers use different numbers… which is very annoying!!

In a typical Magic Cloth scene the sky should be exposed 1/10 of the total time. For example a 10 sec exposure should allow just a second on the sky, a 30 sec exposure should allow just 3 sec on the sky. This is a starting guide and you may want to adjust it to increase or decrease mood and contrast.

I generally expose the sky in one go at the start of the exposure, but you might want to spread the sky’s exposure throughout the total exposure – in short bursts which add up to the 3 sec of a 30 sec exposure.


Rose Tinted

Rose Tinted

The black sand beach with magical chunks of glacial ice is where the Atlantic Ocean interacts with Europe’s largest glacier.

Oskar Ice man

Oskar Ice man

This is a very popular ice cave and is normally full of tourists. On this morning, we were in there hours before the tourists.

Velvet Beach

Velvet Beach

This beach is the final land based resting place for ice chunks that calve from the retreating Vatnjökull ice cap.

Photo Calendars

Subscribe

RSS IcelandAuroraPhotos

  • Iceland : Iceland Northern Lights Postcard by IcelandAuroraPhotos
    1.41 GBPIncredible Northern lights over the Jokulsarlon Glacier lagoon in Iceland.These postcards are made from thick high-quality matte paper, so they serve as a great addition to a gift or just a thoughtful written note to a friend.• 4/4 full bleed• 300 GSM• Paper thickness: 0.13″ (0.34 mm)• Laminated feel• White matte back with a […]
  • Iceland : Diamond beach Golden Iceberg Iceland Postcard by IcelandAuroraPhotos
    1.41 GBPGlacier ice glows golden from the light of a sunrise on the diamond ice beach, Iceland.These postcards are made from thick high-quality matte paper, so they serve as a great addition to a gift or just a thoughtful written note to a friend.• 4/4 full bleed• 300 GSM• Paper thickness: 0.13″ (0.34 mm)• Laminated […]
  • Iceland : Jokulsarlon Ice, Iceland Postcard by IcelandAuroraPhotos
    1.41 GBPThe crystal ice at Jokulsarlon diamond beach catch the first rays of the rising sun in Iceland.These postcards are made from thick high-quality matte paper, so they serve as a great addition to a gift or just a thoughtful written note to a friend.• 4/4 full bleed• 300 GSM• Paper thickness: 0.13″ (0.34 mm)• […]

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This