First attempt at long exposure water photography


TPF Noob!
Dec 14, 2011
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Where this is my first attempt I could really use some C&C. One question I have is why isn't the water as silky smooth as I normally see in photos? Did I not have a long enough shutter?

Im no expert in this area but I think it came out well. I like these and would love to give it a shot
I also think it came out quite nice, but if you wanted softer looking water, then yes, you would want a longer exposure. It looks like you had 1/2 second exposure- that's enough to blur the water into soft streaks, but not enough to blur it away to a general soft fuzziness. If you don't have a neutral density filter, you can set the aperture smaller to allow for a longer exposure.
You did good. I try to keep my exposures to around 2 seconds or so for that silky look. Any longer and you aren't really helping much. Did you use a polarizer? Those help by eliminating reflections off the water surface and rocks.

As far as composition, I think the shot would be better if it wasn't split 50/50. Also, you might like to try going a bit wider and shooting from a lower perspective to add some dramtic depth.
I did use a circular polarizer but I think I had it adjusted wrong. When you say that the photo is split 50/50 are you saying that the split between greenery and water is approximately at the halfway point?
Yeah, not that I am a strict rule of thirds guy but I think it would work here.
GND or polarizer is going to be a must to avoid the blown out areas in the water and will serve to give you longer exposure times. You could try a little earlier or later in the day to also increase your exposure time. For that, I'd do several exposures and blend the trees, etc back into the shot at the current clarity but have nice silky water.

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