I'm useless with....

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by Wino, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. Wino

    Wino TPF Noob!

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    ...waterfalls.

    I live in a country where there are many waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. Have I ever been satisfied with a photo I've taken of any of them? NOPE.

    Anyway, I thought I'd submit this one and see what comments and helpful suggestions I may get.

    This one is on Koh Chang Island and is the very devil to get to. The climb to it is tricky and tiring, but once there the view is wonderful. It goes without saying that this photo does not do it justice. Actually I've just looked at the pic from a distance, it doesn't look quite so bad, or is that just wishful thinking? The waterfall's face is as smooth as it looks.

    To take this pic I left my Fuji Finepix S7000 set to 'Auto' because in any case there was no way I was going to experiment with various settings whilst I balanced on a rather slippery rock overhang. As is usual in Thailand, the sun was out as you can see by the blown water. :( During the wet season water cascades down entirely from one side to the other.

    For those interested in Exif data, right click your mouse, then click on image information, finally click on Exif.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Waterfalls tend to have vertical lines and can often be shot in a portrait position with the camera.

    By doing so, zoom in and focus on what is important trying to minimize the other elements that can be distracting, which in this case can be the sky and the trees on image right.

    I could see a portrait shot of the left side of the waterfall, the bigger fall, aiming the camera down somewhat to try and capture the reflection in the water.

    Shooting in mid day sun is hard to do, as the shadows can be quite strong and when trying to expose for something like this, chances of blowing out the sky are high.

    You can look into bringing a circular polarizer and a tripod to help play with the light and movement. Although I dont think they make CPLs for your P&S camera. Putting in the CPL will cut approx 2 stops of light. Using a small aperture will allow for slower shutters speeds which would give a nice cotton flow to the water.

    Next time you get there, take the time to think about lines, composition and your shot and then move in to take it. If you are going to place that is hard to get to, take a bunch of shots from different angles and positions, all the while being safe not to fall in :D
     
  3. Froggy

    Froggy TPF Noob!

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    Well,
    you did a good review of your shot. You know what is going wrong.

    Here are some advice I can give you (and that you can read everywhere in the net) to improve waterfall shots and photo in general.

    1- Use a tripod! This tool is absolutely necessary to take good photos, mainly for a waterfall photograph.
    You could then use a slow shutter speed to add dynamism to your shot. Like here.
    Moreover, using a tripod also force you to take your time before shooting.

    2- Slow down! Think about your picture, the composition and all the elements before pushing the trigger. Better get 1 good image than 10 bad.

    3- Try different focals and settings. Move around your subject to find the better point of view.
    Take a look at the histogram to see if the photo is well exposed or not.

    3- Wait for the good light!
    Shoot early in the morning or late in the afternoon to catch the best and the softest lights (from 1 hour before the sunrise/sunset to 1 hour after it, for example).

    4- Shoot in cloudy or overcast weather rather than in sunny days to avoid harsh lights.

    5- Buy filters such as a ND filter (allows you to make longer the shutter speed by decreasing the light that come in the lens) or a polarizer (remove bad reflects in the water / improve the water clearness).

    6- Have fun!
     
  4. Breaux

    Breaux TPF Noob!

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    bigtwinky and Froggy covered it pretty well. I just want to add that your existing photos might be helped by using contrast masking. It's a method to automatically apply varying degrees of contrast to different parts of the image.

    There's a tutorial on my website: Brooks Photopedia tutorial - contrast masking tutorial for GIMP and Photoshop - or just search for it on google - there's lots of tutorials out there.
     
  5. Wino

    Wino TPF Noob!

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    Thanks bigtwinky for looking and for your input.
     
  6. Wino

    Wino TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Breaux for looking and for your input. I'll have a look at your suggestion.
     
  7. Wino

    Wino TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for looking Froggy, and for your input.
     
  8. Ub3rdoRK

    Ub3rdoRK TPF Noob!

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    I would wait for a nice sunset or sunrise on this shot, still with a ND or CP filter and a tripod to get silky water. beautiful place though.
     
  9. Wino

    Wino TPF Noob!

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    Hi Ub3rdoRK

    Thanks for looking and for your kind suggestions. However, can't use filters on my cameras, also impossible and somewhat dangerous to try to set up a tripod at this location. And I don't fancy climbing down or up in the dark, but thank you again anyway.
     

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