Waterfall critique needed...

Discussion in 'Critique Forum Archives' started by Indecent Exposures, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. Indecent Exposures

    Indecent Exposures TPF Noob!

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    I've seen some amazing long exposure shots of waterfalls on the forum and wanted to try something similar. Unfortunately I was limited to a small water feature in the garden!

    The best of my shots is below, but I have had to seriously increase the brightness to bring the shot back into decent colour. So did I leave it until it was too dark to take the photo or do you normally have to take the light back up again? Any improvements to the technique would also be appreciated!

    Thanks

    Chris

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Its best to use ND filters for water, so you can slow the shutter for a few seconds in daylight, and to get a good exposure. Its a little out of focus too.... so focusing on the rocks to the side of the water would help solve that issue. good first attept tho.
     
  3. JDP

    JDP TPF Noob!

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    I agree with Arch.

    One of the things I've been wanting to try with water is that little thing that goes on the front of your lens with the Red/Green/Blue gels and then an opaque bit on the top and bottom.
    What you do is line up the shot, lower the card to the first opaque bit then open the shutter. Then you slide the card down exposing each color before you finally hit the last opaque bit and close the shutter.
    It looks so neat, anything stationary has the color from the gels canceled out, but everything moving has different colors - so some water will be red, some green, some blue. hehe.
     
  4. Indecent Exposures

    Indecent Exposures TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for this - but what's an ND filter?

    Chris
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Doesn't ND stand for "Natural Density"?
    And yes, according to what I heard about waterfall pics, the softness is usually obtained by the use of filters that act like sunglasses would before your eyes, they make things darker, so the camera will have to be given more time to expose right. I think that when through whatever the exposure time gets longer and longer (nightfall, like in your case here, use of filters in daylight), you need to bring a tripod and use that to avoid camera shake.
    I believe you got that here along with a wide open lens (short DOF!) ... so a smaller aperture, long exposure (brought about by the use of filters in daylight), and the camera set up firmly are the things you look for.
     
  6. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There comes a point, as you lengthen the exposure, when the water begins to look like a flowing fog. Is that what you're after, or do you want a hint of blur to indicate that the water is flowing and is not ice?
     
  7. MightyLeeMoon

    MightyLeeMoon TPF Noob!

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    The photo overall just seems a little too soft. I think with a sharper focus and it would be a much better shot. The suggestion about the filter would probably help out with letting you open the lens up for a deeper DOF as well.
     
  8. JDS

    JDS TPF Noob!

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    Indecent Exposures - Nice first attempt. Like was said, it looks a little blurred, but I can't tell whether it's slightly out of focus or if it's camera shake. Just be sure and use a tripod when you use long shutter speeds..I think that's your biggest thing. And if you are having to wait until it's totally dark, invest in an ND filter..you'll get much better results with the lighting. I usually wait until the sun is setting and take a few shots at different speeds to get different effects ranging from 'freezing' the falling water to getting the 'foggy flow'. I need one of those filters!

    LaFoto - ND = Neutral Density. :) But yeah, all they're used for is to reduce the intensity of light... I think the 'neutral' is just because it has no color 'preference' (for lack of a better word) - it lessens the intensity of all colors evenly basically.
     
  9. Indecent Exposures

    Indecent Exposures TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the comments guys - I did use a tripod but didn't have any kind of infra-red shutter and didn't think to use the timer! Will go back out and try what you've suggested...

    Chris
     
  10. photochic

    photochic TPF Noob!

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    Nice 1st attempt. My first waterfall shot was so overexposed that it was blinding! Using a ND or polarizing filter will significantly increase the quality. You said you used a tripod...did you use your remote control? Any movement can create camera shake with long exposures. Try a remote or set your timer.

    Tracy - fine art photography by Tracy Reehal
     
  11. meotter

    meotter TPF Noob!

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    i've never used a filter on my shots, but to compensate, i try to not shoot when the sun is at it's harshest either... you can do filterless exposures if you shoot earlier in the morning, later in the evening or when there is shadow on your camera.

    plus, assuming you're shooting digital, try multiple shots with different settings, til you get one that works for you. i often shoot them in shutter priority mode, then the camera sets the appropriate f-stop so that it will often not be over exposed.

    as others have said, if you're already using a tripod, start to use the timed setting, so that the camera is absolutely stationary when you take the pic. this image is soft and would appear to be less then stationary.

    keep trying :) i love shooting waterfalls or moving water.
     
  12. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    I took a waterfall picture (in the critique section, if you want me to dig for it I can, or just repost it) with no ND filter at about 4:30-5 in the evening. There was a little less light than normal since it was in the middle of a wooded area, but it was still bright. I used the smallest aperture that I could so I would have a nice blur in the water. It worked well but I had to adjust the lightness in PS. I'd love an ND filter but you've gotta make due with what you've got. Nice first attempt.
     

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