Waterfalls Shooting Tips please

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by iphoto, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. iphoto

    iphoto TPF Noob!

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    I am sorry if this sounds dumb questions...how do one can shoot a waterfall with that "soft flow" of water?

    I understand that we need to have greater shutterspeeds...but whenver I tried it always messed up with some strange color shots...even in shutter priority...

    I desparately want to learn this...any help, tips are most welcome :)
     
  2. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    You need as slow a shutter speed as you can go. So the best bet is to shoot fully manual. Then set your f-stop a small as you can (f16). pick a shutter speed at slower than 1/8. Even if the meter doesn't agree, you should have enough latitude in your film to pull this off. By using a lens hood, you can block out a little light, and that would help too. Experiment with this and you should start getting some cool results.
     
  3. LittleMan

    LittleMan TPF Noob!

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    not necessarily....
    If you have too slow a shutter speed the water will look like a dense fog... and sometimes you don't want that to look that way.

    I've found that 1/6 of a second will give you very good results. :)
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    It depends on how much movement you want to portray. I have been shooting water with movement for along time now. I just did a shot with an exposure of around a second. Results look like a painting. As I said, you need to experiment with the settings till you get the results that please you.
     
  5. iphoto

    iphoto TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the responses. That gives me some insight on the direction I need to work out....now I need to search a waterfall :D
     
  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    The easiest way for you to do the above advice is to stop your lens down. If the waterfall is in a bright area, it's going to be more difficult, especially if you have a prime lens. You don't want shutter priority, you want aperture priority for this:

    Load 100 ISO film or set your digital camera. Set your camera to AP, put it on a tripod, use a shutter release / remote control. Compose your shot with care - look out for scrub, leaves and distracting stuff. Put on a UV and/or polarising filter, or a ND filter for colour. Use the longest prime lens you have or longest zoom, and stop it to f22 or whatever your maximum number is. Focus it and have another look at your composition. Get up close and have a look at your subject - usually an interesting shaped rock. Remove leaves, twigs and debris.

    Take your shot and count the seconds of exposure. I find that over five seconds will give you mist and glass effect; 1/2 or one second will give a touch of movement, but still glassy; 1/15 is my favourite as it depicts movement, but smooths the river/stream. It's all about your idea - start at f-big number and work down to f-low number.

    I have some pictures of the sea and the Thames on the site, and Thelma has a waterfall picture on the site. Thelma's waterfall is taken at "normal" hand-held exposure, i.e. above 1/30th of a second, so there's movement, but probably not near the effect you are trying to achieve.

    Good luck and post your results!!

    Rob
     

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