Author Topic: Shooting Waterfalls?  (Read 5417 times)

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Offline thebird

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Shooting Waterfalls?
« on: May 10, 2011, 01:21:20 AM »
I will be heading out in the next week or so to take some waterfall shots. A friend has asked me to go with them to some of there favorite waterfalls so I can take some pictures for them. They like my work and would like some waterfall shots. Does any one have any tips or advice on taking waterfall pictures. What ever you have to offer would be great.

Thanks
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Offline eddieitman

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Re: Shooting Waterfalls?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 01:28:19 AM »
Tripod is essential
An ND filter will work wonders especially if it is very bright as you need long exposures
Here is an example of a pic i took so you can get an idea

Exif info
ISO   100
Exposure   8.0 sec
Aperture   20.0
Focal Length   50mm

I did not have an ND filter on this but it was rather grey on the day
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Offline Faldrax

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Re: Shooting Waterfalls?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 09:51:49 AM »
If you don't have an ND filter but do have a CPL this will to provide a 1-2 stop reduction (depending on brand and range) so can be sufficient with a smaller aperture to get the 'smooth' effect on the water.

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Offline Frank [aka Wires]

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Re: Shooting Waterfalls?
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 02:59:57 PM »
No disrespect to any member here or anyone else anywhere that uses long exposures on water shots but I must admit to finding such shots loose something for me in the end finish. I much prefer to have the 'brightness', 'swirls' and 'waves' caught rather than what can appear like a 'mist'.

I can see the reason for an ND [or poloriser?] filter but not the long exposure thing...

Purely a personal thing I know...  and as said NO disrespect to any one... and apologies for not contributing something more positive about taking such shots :-[
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Offline Faldrax

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Re: Shooting Waterfalls?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 03:44:08 PM »
It's finding the right balance for the shot you want to achieve

This is at 1/4s - which gave a partially blurred result, for example.



Shots which show the bright sparkle of fine droplets will need something a lot faster, for a silky, mist-like effect you need a longer exposure. Exact times depend on the light and aperture.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 03:50:50 PM by Faldrax »
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Offline G-Mike

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Re: Shooting Waterfalls?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 03:57:01 PM »
I agree with Frank.  Sometimes you want to freeze the action, e.g. man going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.  Try a series with exposure times from many seconds to freeze frame at 1/500 to see what suits you best.
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Offline Clive

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Re: Shooting Waterfalls?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2011, 04:19:26 PM »
I like eddieitman's shot, but also agree with Frank. The blurred water can be very nice, but I've also seen some "stop action" water shots with drops frozen in space..very cool as well.

G-Mike has the right idea (and Frank suggested it as well)...try different shutter speeds. You might go as high as 1/1,000 or 1/2,000 to stop droplets and splashes.

Tripod for the slower shots...polarizer will slow shutter speed as Faldrax said.

Try a lot of angles. My limited experience with water falls is there is often a branch or something in the way of the perfect shot. Like with flower closeups, we sometimes get so concentrated on the water (or ?) that we often forget to take a close look through the viewfinder to see what else is lurking around ... only to be seen on the computer screen when we get home. Once you are set up look closely at the entire scene for other "stuff" that might detract. (Sure we can sometimes clone distractions out...)

Good luck!

Clive
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