Blue Love

Blue Love

Glacier Ice from Jökulsarlon

I was loving the blues on this December workshop morning. We have many opportunities to visit the Jökulsarlon Glacier Lagoon and glacier ice beach on our five day photo workshops. The Winter dawns are fantastic opportunities for capturing amazing colours. The dawn is not a quick affair in Iceland. The colours can be good for many hours especially on a mid-Summer night. This allows you to experiment with different exposure times and techniques.

The Magic Cloth Technique

When you want to avoid burning the highlights in the sky like a normal aurora display, the The Magic Cloth Technique is a useful tool for your camera bag. The Magic Cloth Technique involves controlling the amount of exposure within a very long exposure to different portions of a picture.


Dark Filter: (not at night, only in daylight) The ND filter is simply to lengthen the exposure. Without having to wait for it to get dark, you can get glossy waterfalls or wave activity that is fine. Like Grads, they come in various powers. My advice is to purchase a filter for your biggest lens so you could utilize the same filter on all of your lenses, and utilize a step-up ring.

I recommend round filters for wet conditions.

Heavy Tripod:

I have to get low down for intimate details in the foreground so extra flexibility are definitely great options to look out for on your tripod. Stabilize your tripod to make it heavy. Vibrations can be caused by the movement of the Magic Cloth. But, this is necessary for fine art long exposure photography.

Settings 2 stops over compensation (liveview) or 3 stops over (without live view), 2 sec delay. There is an advantage to a long Shutter speed. 2-5 sec requires a fast, but smooth action to darken the sky within a reflex time. 5-10 sec allows for a controlled exposure of the middleground.
Procedure Divide complete exposure by 10 for the sky exposure. For instance, a 10 second exposure could be a sky that is 1 2nd. Press on the shutter to activate the THE TWO second timer, with this time get your material ready. When the shutter is open, allow 1 second for the sky exposure.

Magic Cloth Action

In most situations, I bring the cloth down with a fast action and up slowly. The fast action over the sky will produce an even exposure for that critical area. Bringing the cloth up carefully and slowly to the level of the horizon will give you extra exposure for the shadows in the landscape.

Magic cloth photography

Thanks for reading!

Check out more photography Pages:
Timing is communication

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”
— Alfred Stieglitz

Shot to nothing

Shot to nothing

One thing I am sure of though is that despite the low visibility, the arctic circle must be in this photograph.

Red Blaze – Night Exposure

Red Blaze – Night Exposure

Although the Northern lights require a long exposure, the object is often to reduce exposure time as much as possible to achieve a usable exposure and with minimal star trails.

Fjallabak Night

Fjallabak Night

Taken on July 17, 2011 on a photo tour through Iceland’s Southern Highlands (or Fjallabak – behind the mountains).

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