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08-11-2009, 10:17 PM   #1
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Waterfall or moving water images

So, I was out and about on sunday and wanted to attempt to take images of a water fall.

The sun was harsh and was not really suitable for taking but I tried anyway. As I tried to allow a longer exposure(Tv mode), I either over exposed the image or I "froze" the water. I was wanting to capture a "cotton candy" effect. I read in the shutterbug that a ND filter would be useful. True?

Dont know what I am missing here.

Shoud I just leave ISO auto and shoot just in Tv?

An pointers as in what shutter speed I should maintain?

08-11-2009, 10:23 PM   #2
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Sure an ND filter can help if your lens won't stop down enough to give you the shutter speed you want. Why not shoot Av, stop down as far as it goes, then take whatever shutter speed you get? Don't use auto ISO, or it might raise ISO to give you a faster shutter speed.
08-11-2009, 10:59 PM   #3
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I am currently trying to also figure that out. Everytime I tried I overexposed the photos. My buddy said to try and set your ISO to about 100 or so. I am going to try te beach tomorrow and I will let you know ho it goes.
08-11-2009, 11:25 PM   #4
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remember exposure is a combination of the 3 factors aperture, shutter speed and recording medium sensitivity (usually called ISO in both film and digi worlds)

A bright sunny day will have a exposure about 1/x @ f16 where x is your ISO speed. So, say you've got ISO on 100, then bright sunny day will be about 1/100 @ f16. Your lens probably only stops down to f22, maybe f32. F22 is one stop more, which will let you set the shutter speed at 1/50sec. F32 allows 1/25th. Assuming this waterfall is not actually out in the open (but a beach/seaside scene might well be), your actual shutter speed will be slower, but you still might not be about to slow it down enough to get the silky water effect you're after. This is where a ND filter comes in. It lowers the amount of light getting to your film/sensor allowing you to use slower shutter speeds.

08-11-2009, 11:50 PM   #5
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Bright sunny days simply need an ND filter - there is no substitute for this.
Though if you happen to be able to shoot the waterfall at a late hour, like at dusk, you can not only get the shutter speed you want without having to have an ND filter, but you may get better lighting conditions to take the shot.
08-12-2009, 01:07 AM   #6
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Gi'day. For waterfalls, I prefer very early morning (nice shadows) and probably a ND8 filter. You want to get the shutter speed down to 3s or slower to get that nice silky look.

Look at the progression of shots in this thread (read right through to the end to see the improvement as you go slower).

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/39592-brisbane-botanic-g...ter-shots.html

Dan

Last edited by dosdan; 08-12-2009 at 01:14 AM.
08-12-2009, 05:13 AM   #7
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Here is a tutorial I found useful How To Shoot Waterfalls - Tutorials. The secret is getting a slow enough shutter speed for the type of water condition you are shooting.

Overcast day, LP filter, 1 sec exposure.



Just remembered another great tutorial by Ron Bigelow. There is a ton of good stuff on his website.
Waterfalls -- Part I

Tim

Last edited by atupdate; 08-12-2009 at 05:18 AM.
08-12-2009, 08:43 AM   #8
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If it is too much of an overcast day though or dawn, the colors might not come out brilliant.
ND filters would work fine if light is too much and your speed is too fast even if the aperture is already set to f22 or smaller.

08-12-2009, 09:26 AM   #9
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I have done a little of the slow shutter thing capturing waterfalls stopped all the way down to f22 or f32 depending on the lens and have gotten some pretty good results. My question is, wouldn't it be better to use f11 or f16 with the appropriate ND filter 1,2,3 or 4 stop to get the desired shutter speed, this should eliminate refraction and give you a better over all picture, or am I missing something.



This was stopped down all the way with no filter.

always striving to improve,
08-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #10
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I personally dont think that an ND filter is required although it can be helpful. To get a nice silky water effect as long as you can get the shutter speed to no faster than 1/4 second (depending on the speed of the water) you should be able to get the look without extra filters. Just set everything to get the slowest shutter speed possible and you should be fine. (ie: low ISO, small aperture (BIGGER #) )
I took this with my M 50mm set at f22 ISO 100 taken at 1/4 sec.
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08-12-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
wouldn't it be better to use f11 or f16 with the appropriate ND filter 1,2,3 or 4 stop to get the desired shutter speed, this should eliminate refraction and give you a better over all picture, or am I missing something.
I have never noticed any kind of refraction issues with my lenses stopping them all the way down. I actually prefer to run them as stopped down as shutter speed will allow so that I can get the whole picture sharp if possible. My example is stopped all the way down and I think it turned out quite well.
08-12-2009, 06:22 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by prinze18 Quote
So, I was out and about on sunday and wanted to attempt to take images of a water fall.

The sun was harsh and was not really suitable for taking but I tried anyway. As I tried to allow a longer exposure(Tv mode), I either over exposed the image or I "froze" the water. I was wanting to capture a "cotton candy" effect. I read in the shutterbug that a ND filter would be useful. True?
Take a look at the Ultimate Exposure Computer Relationship Chart. A bright sunny day is going to be an EV 16 environment as seen in the Exposure Value Chart. As the lowest ISO value we have on the digital cameras is ISO 100, follow the ISO100 column down until you hit 16. Now to the right in the shutter speed portion, you'll see the lowest shutter speed possible at f32 is 1/60 of a second. Probably not slow enough to blur water and depending on the lens, f32 might not even be available.

There are a few ways around this, one is to allow less light into the lens via a filter or filters. ND filters simply lower the amount of light being let into the lens. A polarizer does the same but has other useful properties. A polarizer provides about two stops of light loss. This is equivalent to a ND4 / 0.6 ND filter. A ND8 / 0.9 ND filter will provide three stops of light loss.

Going back to the Relationship Chart, and saying we will be using f22 instead of f32, follow the f22 column up for three stops and you'll have a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second. Nice thing about filters is that as long as you don't induce vignetting, they can be stacked, a ND8 with a polarizer would be five stops of light loss. That gets us down into 1/4 of a second shutter speed at f22 or 1/8 of a second at f16.

You can get a single ND filter with higher light loss:
  • ND.3 (exposure adjustment = 1 stop)
  • ND.6 (exposure adjustment = 2 stop)
  • ND.9 (exposure adjustment = 3 stops)
  • ND 1.2 (exposure adjustment = 4 stops)
  • ND 1.8 (exposure adjustment = approx. 6 stops)
  • ND 3.0 (exposure adjustment = 10 stops)
  • ND 4.0 (exposure adjustment = 13-2/3 stops)
  • ND 6.0 = (exposure adjustment = approx. 20 stops)
  • Vari-ND = (exposure adjustment = 2-8 stops
Another way to achieve the effect of slow shutter on moving water without having filfters is to use multi-exposure. The K10D and K20D offers a way to do this. You can take up to nine exposures that are combined into one exposure. The end exposure of the final photo is correct for what was metered and because the movement of the water is not static, the effect is to blur the flow in the same way that a slow shutter would.

I think it is also possible to accomplish this with multiple digital photos of the same scene in post processing programs, but I don't have any experience with this.

Thank you
Russell
08-12-2009, 08:51 PM   #13
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Wow these are fantastic tips everyone.I really appreciate. I will definitely look at all the links and , skill and luck willing I might have some shots to post this weekend.

I really appreciate everyones feedback
08-13-2009, 07:50 AM   #14
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I might also add that it helps to have a tripod and use the 2 second delay function (with stabilization turned off) and/or wireless remote to prevent camera shake or a blurred image.
08-18-2009, 04:40 PM   #15
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Note that from the K10D model and newer, there is a multiple exposure mode called "Auto EV" that allows you to take up to 9 frames that are combined in camera and the exposure averaged between all frames. This produces the ultimate in smooth silky images in media such as moving water. However, it will render even the growliest of waterfalls into a winply smooth stream so it may not be appropriate for all shots.

Jack
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