What do you do when you’re making a really long exposure that ends up being grossly overexposed?

You make it black and white of course.

Last night I was photographing on the Maine coast and experimenting with long exposures. The mistake I made was to trust the histogram displayed on the LCD of my Fujifilm X-T2 when dialing in the exposure time while using my 10-stop ND filter. With the shutter set for a 15 minute exposure the histogram indicated that the photo would be underexposed, however the final image showed just the opposite, with the sky grossly overexposed. As a last resort before deleting the shot I decided to convert it to monochrome.

Luckily it worked.

Next time I’m using ND filters and long exposures I’m going to stick with the Lee Filters exposure calculator app to set the exposure time. In the past this app has been pretty spot on.


12 thoughts on “Mistakes Were Made.

  1. Now I want to find a way to turn all my overexposed shots into black and white, to see if they can be salvaged. Your end result is really peaceful and lovely.

    1. It’s something I’ve kind of known for a long time though I rarely think of it. With this shot I figured that after standing around for 15 minutes waiting for the exposure to finish I should at least see if there was anything I could do with the photo. To be honest I was quite surprised to see any detail whatsoever in the clouds. When I checked the shot on the LCD the highlight warning was flashing over the entire upper half of the image. So I expected the sky to be pure white no matter how far i dialed back the highlights and exposure. Had I been shooting in jpeg, which I’ve been doing more and more with my Fuji cameras, this would have been a total loss for sure.

  2. Ha, ha…indeed, that is the answer for many of our troubles….convert them into Black and White and the answer will stare you in the face! Lovely shot too!

  3. Great idea, Jeff! How do you like the Fuji X-T2? I’m waiting for the next Fuji camera shipment to B & H to buy one for myself. The ratings have been great.

    1. I absolutely love my XT2! So far I haven’t felt like I’ve given up anything when I moved from a full frame Canon(5D MkIII). The size and weight difference was a huge selling point for me, and the image quality is outstanding. You’re going to love it.

    1. Thank you, Jane. Every time I pick up one of my friend’s big Canon or Nikon DSLRs, I can’t help but think how much I don’t miss all that weight. The Fuji is an amazing camera.

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