Moving water.. I just can't figure it out!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by DigiJay, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    So I went to the local river today to take some photos.
    I love that silky water effect that you get with a 2 second exposure, but I can't seem to get it to work.
    I'm using a D200 with an 18-200 lens.
    What settings do you reccomend??
    No matter what I do, the photo seems to come out way over exposed.
     
  2. RKW3

    RKW3 TPF Noob!

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    If your shooting in sunlight you may have to use a really small aperture, like f/16 or smaller. A polarizer also sounds like a good idea, since it reduces light and glare. Just try to use your camera's meter effectively, and if the camera isn't metering correctly then you could underexpose it a little more.

    I've also had experiences with overexposed water, but shooting in RAW allowed me to get back all the detail. I was happy.
     
  3. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    Settings really depend on conditions. Your right abuot needing a long shutter speed to get the look your going for but in bright daylight you cannot use a 2 second exposure, if the water is running fast you could use something a fast as 1/4 second. To do this during the day you need to use a small aperature 22 to 29 or higher depending on your lens. If this still is not enough you could use a filter to make the scene darker so you can use a longer shutter speed. Or you could blend two exposures one of the water one of the rest of the scene. Try shooting these types of scene early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not hitting the water directly.
     
  4. TCimages

    TCimages TPF Noob!

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    I personally always use a ND filter for this effect.
     
  5. MarcusM

    MarcusM TPF Noob!

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    Yup, +1 for that. I have used a ND filter also to achieve what I want.
     
  6. passerby

    passerby TPF Noob!

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    How about you try it first in your kitchen? Determine from there what is roughly the correct SS and f number. If in indoor shooting is enough with 1/2 second, than naturally outdoor shooting should be much shorter exposure than 1/2 of a second - just for an example.
     
  7. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    I saw a great picture in my head, but yes the sun was very bright.
    I tried as slow as one second, but it was still blown out.

    The sun is going down right now.. maybe I'll head out and try again.. now
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I will assume you are trying to use manual in this case. So when it comes to manual it seems this comes up alot and the real answer to this is no matter what settings you want to use you need to read the meter. Your camera's meter will give you a proper exposure and you can experiment with your ettings from there. Your meter will not read the exact spot you want to focus on so you can also experiment with this as well. The bottom line is there are rules to follow and using manual does not mean you can break those rules. The big problem with a situation like this is alot of times the water you are trying to shoot will be white making it birghter than the rest of the scene. But realize one thing you do not necesarrily need to use a 2 second exposure like this, if the water is moving fast enough even 1/15 will be enough to blur the water.
     
  9. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I'm believing that your sensor was set for ISO-100. IF you were shooting in bright sunlight, you would need to set your aperture to f/128 or smaller! Of course, your lens won't stop down anywhere near that far.

    For comparison, I used to shoot film at ASA-25 (that's what "ISO" was called years ago). My film was two stops slower than your 100 sensor speed. Then, I put a 3-stop neutral density filter over the lens. Finally, I would limit my exposure to about a second or less because anything longer would allow too much light.

    Are you getting the hint?

    Your solution is to purchase a really dark ND filter (minimum 3 stops) and also shorten your shutter time to a quarter of a second or less.
     
  10. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  11. frXnz kafka

    frXnz kafka TPF Noob!

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    You also might want to consider shooting later or earlier in the day.
     
  12. DigiJay

    DigiJay TPF Noob!

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    Alright, it looks like I had the right idea, my problem was that I was shooting towards the bright sun which was reflecting off the water. I tried again in the evening and was able to get the effect I was looking for.
    Thanks for the advice everyone.
    I'll need to pick up a good filter to do more daylight shots in the open.
     

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