Magic Cloth Photos


I wish I knew Deep Purple so I could hand them a piece of glacier ice sculpted into a peace pipe.

Some Magic cloth on my 24mm prime with 6 stop filter. Catch it in my gallery.

Tagged: , Iceland , ice , ice lagoon , ice beach , iceberg , beach , Blue , purple , glacial laggon , glacier , long exposure , low light , Magic cloth , Breiðamerkursandur

“Pay no attention to that man behind the Magic Cloth!”!

Have you sometimes been so completely at one with the great outdoors behind a lens on a tour?

„What I’m trying to say is find ways to inspire yourself and your clients by taking on challenges and thinking fast in situations that aren’t inspiring, make them inspiring.” ― Jose Villa

The Magic Cloth Photography Trick

The Magic Cloth Photography Trick is a a unique method to photograph a high dynamic range scene.

If you need to give more exposure to the shadows like a average sunrise beach, the The Magic Cloth Photography Trick is a useful tool for your camera kit.

Magic Cloth Tricks


ND Filter: (Not nightime, only day!)

I suggest circular filters for damp weather conditions.

Heavy Tripod:

I like to get low down for an interesting perspective so folding legs are really nice characters to look out for on your tripod. Arrange your tripod to make it heavy. Moving the Magic Cloth can introduce vibrations. But, this is necessary for high end long exposure photography.

Avoid raising the center column unless you really need to. The center column is the weak spot of the tripod.

Sometimes a tripod has a hook underneath, suspend things from it to provide better strength. Often professionals carry a bag that they can fill with stones to give a better strength which will stabilize the tripod well – even in strong winds.

More Long Exposure tips…

Long Exposure Photography Tips

Shutter bulb:

Exposure times can sometimes be longer than the 30 seconds your camera will allow. Having a Shutter bulb (sometimes called “Remote) will allow you to expose: as long as your battery allows.

Black cloth:

Pick a big cloth like a hat, or black card of similar size. Should be able to completely cover the whole surface of the glass. Better to be Dark. A dark colour is preferable. Use a straight edge of any shaped cloth.

The Magic Cloth Technique:

Camera settings

Use a dark filter or darkness for a longer exposure time, then over expose the photograph by 2 – 3 stops.

Exposure time

It is preferable to work with a long Exposure time. 2-5 seconds requires a fast, but smooth movement to darken the sky within a reflex time. 5-10 seconds allows for a extra exposure of the middleground.

Magic Cloth Motion

I usually lower the cloth quickly and bring it up slowly.

Alternative Methods

Vary the Motion to allow several short exposures of the sky, instead of a single medium exposure (30 seconds or more exposures only).

Use your spot meter for the highlights and {multiply that shutter speed by 4|then x 4 to get the total shutter speed.

See more Ice and Auroras on our Photo Tours.

Many thanks for visiting!

“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”
— Edward Steichen

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