Monday, May 12, 2014

Misty morning time exposures on the Hudson River

An early morning fog shrouded the watery areas around the city early Saturday morning -- my favorite conditions for taking long time exposures of water. I rode my bike uptown along the Hudson River to an area where  I knew there was an old bridge relic sitting in the water. It is the 69th Street Transfer Bridge that was part of the West Side Line of the New York Central Railroad, and a dock for floating rail cars across the Hudson River to the Weehawken Rail Yards in New Jersey. It had an innovative design that kept the boxcars from falling into the river while being loaded. Now it is all rusted out and graying wood crumbling into the river. I wanted to do a time exposure of the bridge while the fog was thick enough to hide the detail on the other side of the river.

For equipment, I packed a Fuji X-T1 -- my favorite camera to use of late -- along with two lenses, the short 18-55mm zoom and 14mm super-wide. To create a long exposure with the native 200 ISO of Fuji X- cameras I stacked two neutral density filters, a 9-stop and a 3-stop for a total of -12 stops of exposure. From experience I know that it takes at least 30 seconds to obtain the right amount of blurring of the flowing water in the Hudson River. For the shots below I ended up with 45 second exposures at around f/14.

This is the basic kit I used for these photos. The tripod in the back is a carbon fiber Sirui T-025X, the smallest full-size tripod I could find for a Fuji X-camera -- only 11.8" when folded but extending to 54.5". It fits easily in a backpack and even in the carry case on the rear of my bike.

I did a complete review of the Sirui T-025X tipod as the perfect travel companion to a Fuji X system. 

Order carbon fiber version of Sirui T-025X and C10 Ball head $239:  BH-Photo   
Order Sirui T-005X Aluminum Tripod with C-10 Ball Head (Black) $139:  BH-Photo


  1. Impressive photos. I assume from what you've written you're still using, and are happy with, the Sirui T-025X tripod. I've got one on order (delivery takes forever here in France) but find myself having serious doubts about it's stability (and height). These photos offer some reassurance. Thanks.

  2. Robert, the chief attraction of this tripod is its extremely compact packing size. A tripod of this type will never be as stable as one with fewer leg joints, but then the Fuji camera is very light weight, and the tripod was quite stable for this series of photos even though it was used here at full extension. With so many leg joints, just make sure to really tighten all of them. I sometimes increase the stability by hanging my camera bag from the bottom post ring.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to reply, Tom. It's useful to have the view of someone who knows what they're at and has actually used the equipment. The internet is awash with uninformed opinion. As you say, the appeal of the 025X is it's portability. I should have said, I'm using an X-Pro 1 and this tripod does seem to complement this camera well. Thanks again.