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Best Waterfall set up

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Best Waterfall set up

Postby pork50 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:56 pm

Exploring with my new point and shoot,
Im wondering what is the best set up to take pictures of waterfalls or of water, yet have the water blurred?



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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:59 pm

I don't know what kind of P&S you have, but in general you have to set the shutter speed for a longer exposure to get that blurred water look. Can you do that with your camera ?
There may be other ways I'm not aware of......
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby fishmonger » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:32 pm

a neutral density filter will do wonders - make sure the camera is on low asa so the shutter speed goes up. Tripod mandatory, use slef timer to set it off. If you can't find a matching ND filter, gaffer tape will hold a larger one on the camera.
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby pork50 » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:43 pm

Other Tom,
Yes I can do that with my camera, hoewever when I set up longer shutter speed, the image reamains quite bright. I tried lowering the F stop to 4.5, but i get a similar result. Anything else to try? Im going to buy some filters like fishmonger suggested.
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby rlown » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:48 pm

might just tell us which camera you have. also if you back off your white balance compensation, it won't be too bright, depending on the camera. still trying to figure out how i figured that out on olympus.. :retard: edit: ok it was exposure comp. after I set it to -0.3, pics came out nice, not that it means anything for what your carrying..
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby The Other Tom » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:53 am

pork50 wrote:Other Tom,
Yes I can do that with my camera, hoewever when I set up longer shutter speed, the image reamains quite bright. I tried lowering the F stop to 4.5, but i get a similar result. Anything else to try? Im going to buy some filters like fishmonger suggested.

You might try increasing the f stop even more. Ultimately you have to get the right amount of light to the "film". A longer exposure time means the lens opening (apeture) needs to be smaller.
Fishmonger had a good idea to lower the ASA rating. I hadn't thought of that one.
If the white balance thing doesn't work for you...ever try photoshop (or similar free software, like picasa) ?
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby fishmonger » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:12 am

since all you need to get the moving water effect is to reduce the amount of light to reach the camera while keeping aperture and sensitivity fixed, you have to cut the light with something like "sunglasses for the lens." If your camera allows you to set the aperture and pick a fixed iso setting (many consumer cameras are auto-ISO and will override your choice once the exposure drops below safe hand holding speed, which would be a show stopper for moving water shots), you are probably ok in overcast lighting, or late in the day, but for sunny days you really need to add something over the lens that takes light away.

An aperture such as F16 or F22 will get you some blur in the water, but on a sunny day, that is barely enough to get the really foggy effect. An 8x ND filter will drop the light 8 f stops without changing the aperture, and without changing color/white balance. That allows you to work in brighter conditions, or use sharper apertures (diffraction causes most lenses to perform best near their brightest apertures - rarely will you see a lens as well a f11 or f16 as it does at F5.6), but don't put too much weight on the sharpness thing.

A polarizer can substitute for an ND filter to some extent (I think it takes 2 stops?), and combined with low iso can get you the desired results, too - below a shot done with 100asa film, polarizer and probably at f22 in the old film days, somewhere in Evolution Valley:

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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby Stevehymon » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:44 pm

I had same challenge figuring out how to shoot waterfalls with my Nikon D5000 DSLR. Finally got one right -- .2 shutter speed, f/22, +1/3 EV.

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Escondido Falls, Santa Monica Mountains by JulieAndSteve, on Flickr
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby pork50 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:22 am

rlown wrote:might just tell us which camera you have.


I have a kodak eazyshare Z981 point and shoot. The lens size is 26–676 mm, not sure exactly what size filter to get.

Image
jogger by pork50, on Flickr

There is alot of expirementing you need to do to get the right picture, heres a picture i took at a marthon for some practice with shutter speeds.


EDIT: For this specific model, I need to purchase a lens adapter, and then a generic 72 mm lens will work
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby maverick » Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:53 pm

Hi Pork

Read this several part article, it will give you an in-depth understanding about taking
waterfall pictures. http://www.ronbigelow.com/articles/wate ... alls-1.htm
He also has several other articles that may be of interest to you.
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby pork50 » Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:51 pm

Maverick, wonderful artical, answers all of my questions. Much appreciated.
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Re: Best Waterfall set up

Postby richlong8 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:43 am

Thanks for posting the article. I have been working on the blur effect as well. I use a ND filter, and the self-timer, with my Panasonic LX-5, but I think I need to start carrying a tripod. The picture are just not as sharp as they should be. My aperture may be opened up too much also.

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