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Testing a new filter
Lens: DA 21, DA 35 Camera: K20D Photo Location: East Tennessee 
Posted By: mole, 04-08-2014, 06:24 PM

Flowing water, especially waterfalls, are one of my favorite photo subjects. And we in East Tennessee are blessed with many flowing and falling streams. Have always found that a circular polarizer was sufficient for my favorite smooth water shots. But several folks suggested I try an ND filter. Recently purchased one, and headed out to give it a quick test over at Laurel Run.

Laurel Run Falls was flowing well. It's a low, wide waterfall, and I usually just take snapshots from the front.

Tried a few side shots this time as well...

Upstream a ways is Kiner Creek Falls. A bit taller, more of a free-fall, but much less flow. Here's a view of Kiner Creek Falls at a time of fairly high water.

These shots were taken with both the ND and the CP. Would really appreciate any comments and suggestions. Thanks!

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04-08-2014, 06:40 PM   #2
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I often stack a CPL and ND as well, the CPL still helps cut down on glare from the water.
From what I can tell, the filter did exactly what it was supposed to do. #1 is a keeper and the side view (#2) is not far behind. I'm personally not so fond of the half a waterfall along the border in #3. #5 is also very nice and get's honorable mention in my book.

I think you'll find yourself purchasing several diff ND filters now that the bug has bit you. I have a 1,2 3 and 5 stop ND filter to control light even in fairly bright conditions.
I also have a collection of graduated ND filters which help immensely with dawn/dusk shots or any place I need to even out exposure between 2 parts of my image.

A final note, since EXIF is not available, I'm not sure what the exposure time was, but I would recommend experimenting with different intervals. The look of flowing water often will change in appearance between 1/2 sec and 4 sec exposures. Depending on the flow and the effect you want, it's handy to know what water looks like at those intervals.

Last edited by nomadkng; 04-08-2014 at 06:46 PM.
04-08-2014, 08:05 PM   #3
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beautiful shots Ranger, am curious about shutter speed when using the filters.
04-08-2014, 09:29 PM   #4
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I prefer #2 to #1, but really like them all. How many stops is the ND filter?

04-08-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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I certainly like your work Mole......
04-09-2014, 09:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
I certainly like your work Mole......
What em said . . . I always enjoy your threads.
04-09-2014, 11:16 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
A final note, since EXIF is not available, I'm not sure what the exposure time was, but I would recommend experimenting with different intervals.
I also always enjoy seeing Mole's photos. The EXIF does appear when I look at the pics. I'm sure Mole will be stopping by shortly, and hope he doesn't mind me posting the info.

#1. 2", f8, ISO 100, +1EV
#2. 3", f9, ISO 100, +0.3EV
#3. 2.5", f8, ISO 100, +0.3EV
#4. 10", f8, ISO 100, +0.3EV
#5. 2", f8, ISO 100, +0.7EV

Haven't shot many water falls at all but several members of my local photo club are scheduled to shoot at Cunningham Falls, near Thurmont, MD on Tuesday (about an hour or so away). Looking forward to going.
04-09-2014, 06:32 PM   #8
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Nomadkng - Thanks for the detailed, insightful, and helpful comments! Sorry that you were unable to read the exif data - I did not intentionally strip exif...

Bob - Tom (Cardinal43) has posted the shutter speeds for these. As you can see, speeds ranged from 2 seconds to 10 seconds. Glad I have a sturdy tripod!

JohnY - It's a 3-stop filter, purchased used and relatively cheap. CP probably adds another stop or two.

Eaglem - Thanks so much!

Tony - So glad you enjoyed these!

Tom - Thanks for taking time to post the Exif - not sure why some can see info and some can't... Hope your photoshoot at Cunningham Falls goes well - will look forward to seeing the results!

04-09-2014, 07:45 PM   #9
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beautiful shots, the only suggestion I can make is to myself - get out and shoot some waterfalls
04-09-2014, 09:05 PM   #10
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These are super, and your new lens really works well! Very rich color and I think you got the shutter speed right, but I don't know what you used. Did you use a single shutter speed (seems that way) or experiment with several? I haven't tried this much and intend to try some tomorrow along the coast. I'm thinking about 1 second might be about right?

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