The House of My Dreams

The House Of My Dreams

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” ― Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora

This is the house of my dreams. It only exists in my mind.

We had a family get together yesterday and the topic of photography somehow came up. Hmmm.  Anyway a cousin of mine mentioned that he did not like photomanipulation. That is fair. I might like white wine and not red. There is nothing wrong with both red nor white wine but for me, I will always pass on the red and so it goes with photomanipulation.

It is not my place to judge what is within the rules and tell people that they can or can’t do whatever. Photography is about creativity and it is up to you how you express or discover it.

On Saturday afternoon I went out for a short drive in the country and happened upon another dilapidated homestead. It was my good luck that it was sitting beside a gravel road on a hill. At about 2:00 p.m. the house was brightly lit and there was a 50/50 mix of cumulus clouds blowing by. The clouds were moving almost directly towards me which is important. When doing long exposures the direction of cloud movement relative to you determines which direction they are flowing across the frame.

My exposure for the black and white version was four minutes. I had a quick look at how the clouds had streaked on the camera display and decided that a longer exposure wasn’t necessary. Some days when the windspeed is not very high, longer exposures are needed. Today was not that day.

To give you an idea of what the scene looked like when I came upon it I have included a short exposure photo. Nothing was done to it other than a little tuning in curves to bump up the contrast.

Prairie House Before

When comparing the before and after photos it is obvious how much YOU can control your final vision. The darker version doesn’t exist in real life, it exists only in my dreams.

Happy shooting,




~ by Dan Jurak on July 25, 2016.

11 Responses to “The House of My Dreams”

  1. Wow! Great black and white photograph!

  2. Thank you Kkessler,


  3. A terrific b/w image. Nice to see the color non LE version for the dramatic comparison.

  4. Welcome!

  5. Ha, and I just asked you if you ever took color photos. Lol. I’m working my way backwards catching up on posts. Love the way the clouds took to this one. I am looking into how to do daytime long exposures and I’m reading I need an ND filter. is this correct?

  6. Yes Sheila, an ND filter is needed to do long exposures during the day.

    I like to have exposures of four or eight minutes usually to get streaky clouds. Any shorter and the streaks are choppy I find.

  7. Thanks for the tip. I’m reading that at least 10 stops is recommended for daytime conditions. What do you use?

  8. Sheila, for bright daylight (which is when I shoot most of my long exposures) I think a MINIMUM of 16 stops is a starting point. That will give you about four minutes at f8 w/100 ISO usually.

    10 stops is more for overcast days or early/late in the day when the sun is low.

    BTW, I have a selection of 1, 2, 3 stop filters that I sometimes stack onto the darker filters to get the f-stop, exposure time combination that I want.


  9. Oh wow. I would have been disappointed if I would have purchased the 10 stop then. Thanks so much! Can’t wait to experiment. 🙂

  10. Sheila, and experiment it is. I only have a rough idea how the final will turn out when I do long exposures. That is a big part of the enjoyment of it for me.

  11. If I can jump in. Sheila, I suggest you take a look at the Firecrest line of filters. They make a 16 stop and a 13 stop and this line also does the best job of blocking infrared spectrum along with visible light, if you decide to jump into IR. They’re a British company but you can order from B&H and Adorama and probably Amazon. Lee makes a 10 stop and a 15 stop, and several manufactures make ND less that that, which as Dan pointed out, you can stack. With super wide angle lenses, though, you need to be aware of vignetting when you stack filers. B+ W filters are excellent, but don’t make a 16 stop.

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