Magical Iceland Landscapes


Ice and a slice at Jökulsarlon Iceland. The sense of space and time as the 800 year old ice gets hit by ocean waves on less temporary, black, volcanic sand. All there at the moment of greatest dawn colour.

Tagged: , Iceland , ice , ice lagoon , beach , Jökulsárlón , jokulsarlon , glacial laggon , Magic cloth , Magic cloth technique , Breiðamerkursandur , Breidamerkursandur

Glacier ice on the diamond beach

The Magic Cloth Photography Trick

The Magic Cloth Photography Trick is a a clever technique to photograph a scene with high dynamic range.

When you like to give more exposure to the shadows like a regular sunrise beach, the The Magic Cloth Photography Trick is a good tool to carry and flexible for your needs.

Hints for Magic Cloth photography

What you need:

Be sure to choose the right equipment for Long Exposure photography. A lens with a big too large, such as the Nikkor 14-24mm. The lens is amazing for long exposures at night, but dark filters for day time Magic Cloth photography becomes complicated.
Canon pro-DSLRs are perfect for Long Exposure photography.

  • Easy features and true manual mode
  • Fantastic live view able to fine focus stars!
  • Most settings can be accessed with external buttons .
  • The Red light on the back lets you know you are shooting. [Good to have)
Recommended Equipment

Neutral Density Filter: (Not nightime, only day!)

I recommend circular filters for damp weather.

strong Tripod:

I have to get as low as possible for better details in the foreground so extra flexibility are definitely great characters to look out for choosing your tripod. Arrange your tripod to make it heavy. Magic Cloth movemnts can cause vibrations. But, this is important for high end long exposure photography.

Avoid raising the center column unless it is absolutely essential. The center column is the least stable part of the system.

Sometimes your tripod has a hook under it, hang things from it to provide extra stability. Many professionals carry a bag to place rocks and stones to give a good weight which will support the tripod nicely – perfect for long exposures.

Long Exposure articles…


Shutter bulb:

Shutter speeds can be longer than the 30 sec the camera will let you do. Having a Shutter bulb (sometimes called “Remote) will allow you to open the shutter: as long as your power allows.

Magic cloth:

Choose a large cloth like a large sock, or the same size black card. Must be large enough to completely cover the optics. Better to be Black. A non-reflective colour is better. The cloth can be any shape, but you need to be able to create a straight edge.

Magic Cloth Method:

Camera settings

Use a filter or low light for a longer exposure time, then over expose the photo by 2 – 3 stops.

Exposure time

It is preferable to work with a long Exposure time. 2-5 sec requires a fast, but smooth movement to burn the sky within a split second. 5-10 sec allows for a controlled exposure of the middleground.

Magic Cloth Movement

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

Alternative ways to use the Magic cloth

Change the Movement to capture several short exposures of the sky, instead of a single medium exposure (30 seconds and over exposures only).

Meter for the highlights and {multiply that shutter speed by three or four|then x 4 to get the total exposure time.

Check out some more Ice and Auroras on our Photo Tours.

Thanks for popping by

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“You don’t take a photograph. You ask quietly to borrow it.”
— Unknown

Have you ever felt so completely at one with Nature behind a tripod on a session?

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Photo Blogger – Tony’s Magic Cloth Technique Link

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