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First try with waterfalls.
Posted By: IN_Varmntr, 07-11-2009, 06:07 AM

Just picked up my K20D, and I am just starting out in the DSLR world. I love long-exposure waterfall pictures so I decided to try my hand at it.

These two are post-processed in Lightroom.




RAW to JPEG, untouched.

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07-11-2009, 06:23 AM   #2
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For a first try, I think you really did a great job capturing the motion. I am guessing you probably didn't use a ND filter (if you did my apologies), but that could allow for longer exposure times without blowing out the highlights in the water. I really like the composition of the second one - with the bend in the water as it hits the second layer of rock. The third could probably benefit from some exposure blending - having one shot exposed properly for the sky - assuming it is blue. Keep shooting!
07-11-2009, 07:20 AM   #3
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I also like #2.
Well exposed, long enough exposure to blend the water falling down beautifully, avoided including the sky (midday sky is just one big blown highlight).

Exposure blending, as suggested, is good if you can get a small enough aperture and low enough ISO to get the desired effect with the blue sky in the photo, but without an ND filter, this would be a tough assignment.
07-11-2009, 10:33 AM   #4
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They look great, better then my first try. just remember it's easier to pull up the lows then it is to pull down the highs. ND filters and Graduated ND filters would help.

John

07-11-2009, 08:13 PM   #5
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As I am so new to this, I will be researching filters and get some ordered to play around with.

Thanks for the recommendations!
07-12-2009, 04:41 AM   #6
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Like #2, not bad for a first attempt!!
07-12-2009, 05:18 AM   #7
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I agree with the concensus, #2 is quite nice. I also agree that longer exposures would have done more justice to those waterfalls. On #3, the bridge is not helping the image, I think. Framing and composing waterfalls can be tricky (obviously) because of all the water around, but I suggest that another composition would help.

My favourie shot ever is of a waterfall... Where were yours shot?
07-12-2009, 06:12 AM   #8
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First, welcome to PF IN_Varmntr... this is a great place and you'll find lots of helpful folks.

Now to the photos... Great shots for your first try. The nice things about waterfalls is that they hold still for you so you can do lots of experimenting. You have the basic process down and now just need some help with the exposures. A couple of other folks already mentioned ND filters, but an easier (and more versatile) filter to start off with is a circular polarizer (CPL). You can use these to knock down the highlights enough to get detail in the light parts of the water. Many are also effectively mild ND filters so you gain some exposure time. Next, combine a CPL with an ND and you can really increase your exposure times to get the water really smooth.

Of course another and cheaper trick is to go shooting waterfalls on cloudy/dark days and shoot at ISO 100...

Best wishes,

Mike

07-12-2009, 07:09 AM   #9
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What everyone else said - I am a novice at that as well but just got some ND filters so anxious to try again.
07-12-2009, 11:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I agree with the concensus, #2 is quite nice. I also agree that longer exposures would have done more justice to those waterfalls. On #3, the bridge is not helping the image, I think. Framing and composing waterfalls can be tricky (obviously) because of all the water around, but I suggest that another composition would help.

My favourie shot ever is of a waterfall... Where were yours shot?
Thank you. #3 was just to show the entire scene in itself. Next time I'm out there, I will bracket shoot so I can overlay them so the sky isn't so washed out in it.

The park is called Cascade Park in Elyria, Ohio USA. It's a beautiful park and there is another large waterfall, but I spent so much time walking to this one that I didn't have the time to shoot the other one. Next time for sure though.
07-12-2009, 01:52 PM   #11
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One thing you can do when you don't have the necessary filters is to use multi-exposures. Make sure you have a tripod, set multi-exposure to 9 shots, allow automatic exposure correction, and shoot away! You get really decent results this way, even though it's not quite the same as one long exposure.
07-12-2009, 05:31 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
One thing you can do when you don't have the necessary filters is to use multi-exposures. Make sure you have a tripod, set multi-exposure to 9 shots, allow automatic exposure correction, and shoot away! You get really decent results this way, even though it's not quite the same as one long exposure.
I thought the K20Ds can only shoot 5 shots in succession with bracketing. Is this the same thing you are recommending or something different? I've only had my K20D for 2 weeks (well only 1 week since I had to send it into Pentax for repairs - I really miss that thing) so maybe it's something I haven't discovered yet.
07-12-2009, 06:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by IN_Varmntr Quote
I thought the K20Ds can only shoot 5 shots in succession with bracketing. Is this the same thing you are recommending or something different? I've only had my K20D for 2 weeks (well only 1 week since I had to send it into Pentax for repairs - I really miss that thing) so maybe it's something I haven't discovered yet.
Bracketing and multi-exposures are two different things. You activate multi-exposure by going into the first menu and scrolling down a bit. You can then select the number of exposures you want, and activate (or not) auto-exposure. Then you take the said number of shots, and the camera will merge them all in one single picture. You NEED to use a tripod or the shots will be useless. If you set the camera to the longest possible exposure you can get (closing the aperture, low ISO, etc) and merge the max number of shots (9) you will get something akin to a single long exposure. Here is an example:



It's not the best example, but it's the only one I have on hand.

Isn't it great to discover new features to your camera?
07-12-2009, 07:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
*snip*
Isn't it great to discover new features to your camera?
Wow. thanks a million! I can't wait to get my K20D back to play with it some more Thanks again for opening up a new door for me!
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