Friday, June 23, 2006

Up the Creek


Beside my desk there is a fly stuck in a bag filled with tissue paper. It makes a funny sound when it tries to get out. It kinda sounds like a cell phone on steroids. That was a weird thing to say.

When we were in Oregon earlier this month, Bethany took me to a beautiful park called Bridal Veil Falls. I brought my camera and eagerly took photos of a large waterfall and lovely river. I was feeling very intimidated because there were a few guys there with some really sweet cameras. Regardless of my dorky little camera and my feeble tripod, I endeavored to take some quality photos.

I had never taken photos of a river like this, but had seen some pictures of small rivers and creeks that I really liked. I'm having trouble figuring out what makes those images great. What can I do to better capture this kind of scene? Other than cropping a bit of the bottom off, this image has not been processed at all. I am particularly looking for photography tips, rather than processing help.

Canon PowerShot S2 IS, 9mm, f/8.0, 1/10 sec, ISO 50

25 Comments:

Anonymous deji77 said...

WOW Timmy. I really love this capture.
Like you too I don't know what makes shots like these look so good.
The only thing I can suggest is probably taking a little of the top away to remove the branch on the right hand side. Otherwise this is really sweet!

2:22 PM, June 24, 2006  
Anonymous Emr√© said...

Very beautiful nature shot. Light and shadows make it extremely captivating. Answer is natural filters. Darken the light flow in, so you can take longer exposures making the water fall smooth.

3:20 PM, June 24, 2006  
Anonymous faustina said...

I think you did great here. Although I am not great at these kinds of shots I would try just a tad more exposure time if the lighting can handle it, that will give you the really soft looking water. I think you got a great photo here.

4:25 PM, June 24, 2006  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I agree with faustina. This is a tough shot because much of the photo is in deep shade. Slowing the shutter speed further will also allow more detail in the shadow areas...but watch out for the sun-dappled portions of the picture. Too much exposure will blow the bright spots out.

You might also experiment with a vertical camera position. Since the main action runs top to bottom having the long side of the photo run with the water may allow you to increase the depth of the picture.

You've done well as it is. That's what I like about digital...you can experiment with each shot without spending anything but enjoyable time.

7:30 PM, June 24, 2006  
Blogger micki said...

You could use a grad ND to allow a wee more exposure on the shadowed water if you wanted to go for more details and a silkier look, but you'd have to compose out the lighter water at the bottom. So, considering your mixed lighting conditions, I'd say you did perfect!! This is a lovely image!

7:54 PM, June 24, 2006  
Blogger Stardog Champion said...

Hey Timmy.

Beautiful shot. I love the colours and the general sense of tranquility in this shot.

BTW: sorry I haven't come here much the last llittle while.

8:13 PM, June 24, 2006  
Blogger Laurie said...

I love this. I think it is very well exposed for the conditions. I would also have tried the vertical orientation for fun. Lovely shot.

10:48 PM, June 24, 2006  
Blogger Zebigleb said...

love it !!!

5:04 AM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous Yanik said...

hhhmm im not too fond of this....for one, its a bit too dark for my liking....What you could have done was slow the shutterspeed down further than 1/10s...i took a similar picture of flowing water at 1/10s at 2 in the afternoon when it was very very sunny/bright....http://www.yaniktissera.shutterchance.com/photoblog/4872.htm

If it was bright, then a filter may have helped at 1/10s

The creek here is covered up by trees pretty well, so your shutterspeed could have been brought down to maybe 1 second even...maybe less....(im not sure how much light there was)This in turn causes that smooth effect of the water that we all see in the photography magazines and get all jelous about...:D

Hope thats helped..and if you knew all of that already then ignore me completely....hehe
cheers

5:24 AM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous Ashish Sidapara said...

Beautiful stuff, great shot Timmy!

9:56 AM, June 25, 2006  
Blogger Dave MacIntyre said...

A truly beautiful place...awesome capture Tim.

8:10 PM, June 25, 2006  
Anonymous Suby said...

Love shots like these. Absolutely stunning.
Suby

1:40 AM, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Azhar said...

Timmy, I can really sum up this one in 3 words.
GREAT GREAT GREAT SHOT!, you deserve it.

3:31 AM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous sil said...

Lovely shot! You did a good job in capturing the light here. Well done!

4:01 AM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous GeeTee said...

You honestly don't have anything to be intimidated about. Sweet cameras don't always mean great images.

This is a very nice image. You got to a good vantage point, kept things level, picked a natural focal point and let the tripod do the hard bit with the long(ish) exposure.

4:39 AM, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Don said...

This was a touch situation with the heavy shadowed areas and bright sunlight other places. I think you did very well.
This was a beautiful location to work in. As to fancy cameras...the only thing that counts is the picture.

8:20 AM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous moonhead said...

A very tranquil setting. Nice light and capture. LOVE IT!

8:32 AM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous Paul said...

I totally agree with geetee. Forget about the other cameras.

I like the shot. If you want "silkier" water, then get there earlier in the morning, like right before or at sunrise. Probably in the woods, at that time of morning, you can get a 2+ second exposure, if you wanted it.

And, as I said on another post, Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Don't try to copy someone elses style; try a hundred different things. Try at a diagonal from the bank, get in the water, get in the water and level with the water. Shoot from behind a stone near the water level. Always use a tripod! Don't drop your camera!

See if you can come up with an idea on how to shoot in a way that you've never seen before.

For example, on this shot: http://www.paullesterphoto.com/pixelpost/index.php?showimage=12 I bought some hip waders, waded into icy cold water that was nearly up to my waist and took several shots. No one was there at 6:30 AM, so I basically "owned" the waterfall!

I'd never seen Looking Glass Falls taken from this perspective. So, do whatever it takes! :-)

Paul

5:02 PM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous Otto K. said...

I don't have too much to add beyond what has already been said. I think this is a lovely shot. My initial reaction was that I'd probably like to see this in a vertical orientation. To get the silky smooth water, you probably need shutter speeds of at least 1/2 second or longer. In a situation like this where you have areas in shade and in sun, that will be difficult to achieve without blowing out the areas in the sun. If your camera can accommodate filters, try a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light entering your camera allowing you to use a slower shutter speed. If it can't, you could try holding the filter flush against your camera lens while you take the shot. You might also try to come back at a time when the whole falls is in shade or on a cloudy day (assuming you can). In any case, this is still a nice shot. Good job.

7:25 PM, June 26, 2006  
Anonymous Otto K. said...

I don't have too much to add beyond what has already been said. I think this is a lovely shot. My initial reaction was that I'd probably like to see this in a vertical orientation. To get the silky smooth water, you probably need shutter speeds of at least 1/2 second or longer. In a situation like this where you have areas in shade and in sun, that will be difficult to achieve without blowing out the areas in the sun. If your camera can accommodate filters, try a neutral density filter to reduce the amount of light entering your camera allowing you to use a slower shutter speed. If it can't, you could try holding the filter flush against your camera lens while you take the shot. You might also try to come back at a time when the whole falls is in shade or on a cloudy day (assuming you can). In any case, this is still a nice shot. Good job.

7:25 PM, June 26, 2006  
Blogger siege2050 said...

This is a great shot! I like the water effect.

9:54 PM, June 26, 2006  
Blogger Jasp said...

This one really benefits from the enlarged view...beautiful place.

1:16 PM, June 27, 2006  
Blogger Nicola said...

Looks very refreshing to me right now!

4:10 AM, June 28, 2006  
Anonymous ana said...

this is spectacular! perfect framing. it really pulls you in and takes you there. wonderful!

4:41 AM, June 28, 2006  
Anonymous connie-mom said...

Tim,
I like this picture alot. Good Job!
Connie

4:39 PM, June 28, 2006  

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