BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Neal Williams
 

How to take pictures of waterfalls or streams


I have a panasonic Fz20 AND I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW how to acheive this on my camera hopefully someone can tell me wich shutter speed or something to acheive this. Thank you


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7/26/2005 1:26:41 PM

 
Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  The shutter speed will depend on how fast the water is running and how bright it is. I usually use anywhere from 1/30-5seconds. If it is really bright outside, and you can't come back later, a ND filter or a Polarizer can really help to darken it up letting you get the slower shutter speed. Also just going out and experimenting really helps.


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7/26/2005 3:41:56 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I agree completely with Brendan. Shoot several shots at different speeds. Each change in shutter speed will give you a different look. Then, pick the one you like the best.


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7/27/2005 6:53:26 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  KERRY AND BRENDAN,
I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET THAT VAILED(?) LOOK WITH MY NIKON D-70 ALL I GET IS GREAT PICTURES OF WATER-DO YOU KNOW THE SETTINGS THAT MAY HELP ME.
THANKS ,
DEBBY


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7/28/2005 6:19:55 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Debby, the problem is that digital camera you are using! LOL
I believe the picture in my gallery of Hot Springs Park 2 was shot at 1/30. Sorry but I didn't record the data. Loger shutter speeds would create a more veiled effect. Start shooting at 1/30 and run to about 2 sec. and see which effect you like the best.


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7/28/2005 6:34:33 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  LOL,LOL HOW DID I KNOW THAT WOULD BE YOUR ANSWER-AS SOON AS I POSTED ,I JUST KNEW.LOL!
GOOD MORNING YOU NUT- NOW WAKE UP AND HELP ME FIND A WAY TO MAKE THIS STUPID DIGITAL CAMERA WORK AS IF IT WERE FILM.
I WAS TRYING TO FIND ANOTHER THREAD I SAW ON THIS SUBJECT-WENT BACK 24 PAGES SO FAR-KERRY DID YOU COMMENT ON THAT ONE AS WELL? IF SO COULD YOU MOVE THE THREAD FOR ME.
THANKS AND YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY!


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7/28/2005 6:49:46 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
OH YEAH THATS NICE - FOR A LAUGH LETS SEE WHAT I GOT- OH LOOK JUST A PICTURE OF WATER!LOL


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7/28/2005 6:52:26 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   I just can't help myself. I assume that digital will work the same as film as far as longer (not loger as I said above) shutter speeds are concerned. I guess one of these days I'm going to have to buy a digital camera and test some shots to see. If anyone found out though I would never live it down. Try shooting at 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2. 1 sec. & 2 sec. The longer the shutter is open, the more the veil, up to the point that the water looks a lot like a sheet of white glass.


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7/28/2005 6:59:52 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
OH YEAH THATS NICE - FOR A LAUGH LETS SEE WHAT I GOT- OH LOOK JUST A PICTURE OF WATER!LOL


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7/28/2005 7:03:23 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
wow- sorry I had computer problems!
heres my water


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7/28/2005 7:21:01 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
  just water
just water
© Debby A. Tabb
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
 
wow- sorry I had computer problems!
heres my water


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7/28/2005 7:21:25 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  ok Kerry I'll give it another shot today.
I know what you mean- I said it for years my self-I'll never go digital.
the business required it so,I ate my words.


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7/28/2005 7:25:15 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   The water looks brown - think I'll grab another cup of coffee.


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7/28/2005 7:28:06 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  lol,you are looking into your cup of coffee- look at your screen and tell me what to do-lol,lol
oh God , this is'nt fair - I need my coffee!


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7/28/2005 7:32:07 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
 
 
 
ok- here you go- I gave it another shot!


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7/28/2005 7:36:42 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   That's one of the best pictures I've seen on this site. LOL

I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw it.


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7/28/2005 7:42:33 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  LOL,
I THOUGHT YOU'D LIKE THAT.
AND ONE OF THE "BEST"- THAT IS SUCH A COMLIMENT,LOL,
I THINK I'LL PUT IT IN MY GALLERY-FOR THOSE DAYS WHEN YOU'VE RUN OUT THERE WILL STILL BE A CUP FOR YOU HERE AT BP.LOL.


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7/28/2005 7:54:32 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  On my Kodak Easyshare DX7630 I set my fstop to f8.0 and start my shutter speed at 1/15 sec and I start getting the veiling effect. Plus I use a polarizer filter and tripod.


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7/28/2005 9:12:12 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
 
 
 
Let me see if I can get this image to upload.


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7/28/2005 9:20:30 AM

 
David A. Bliss   Debby, I just found out recently that the lowest ISO setting on the D70 was 200. Well, that's what you get for shooting Nikon ;-) Seriously, though, you will need to shoot on overcast days, early in the morning, or after the sun has hit the horizon in the evening, or else use an ND filter to get the shutter speeds you will need to smooth the water.


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7/28/2005 9:47:40 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
 
 
 
Try again.


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7/28/2005 9:53:50 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  LOL,LOL
YES, YES AS USUAL I WANT SOMETHING FROM A CAMERA I MAY NOT GET!
THE FUJI S2, WASN'T FAST ENOUGH FOR GREAT ACTION SHOTS-WE HAD ALL THE EQUIPTMENT FROM THEM -SOOOO WE WENT D70.
THERE WAS A DISAGREEMENT-I USED TO ALWAYS BE A CANON GIRL!
WELL MAYBE I SHOULD SELL THE TRUCK AND MY RIGHT ARM FOR THE MARKII- I JUST KNOW IT WOULD BE WORTH IT.
SOMEDAY.
I HAVE A POND WITH A SMALL FALL IN THE BACK- SO I CAN PRACTISE.
I TRYED BRIANS SETTINGS (WELL AS CLOSE AS POSS.) BUT IT CAME OUT OVEREXPOSED??
BOY , BY THE TIME I GET THIS MY LITTLE FALLSBETTER LOOK LIKE YOURS 10FEET TALL.
THANK YOU ALL FOR TRYING TO HELP ME-YOU SEND EM AND I'LL KEEP TRYING.


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7/28/2005 9:54:52 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  OH DANG IT BRIAN!
I WANT THAT!
OK I'LL TRY AGAIN


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7/28/2005 9:57:45 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  Debby, believe me it took a long time and alot of shots to get it. I had to go all the way to Vegas to get it....lol An f8.0 might not work on your camera. That is the lowest f-stop I have on mine. Plus I can tell you, you definitely need shade to really help get it. I was in the shade when I took this, plus I used my circular polarizer filter instead of my neutral density filter because I was taking landscape shots at the time and wanted the deep blue skies. Just try setting your f-stop to the lowest it can go and start your shutter speed around 1/15 sec and keep going slower on the shutter until you get it.:)


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7/28/2005 10:04:55 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  4 secs??? You must be in the dark..


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7/28/2005 10:09:23 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  THANKS BRIAN,
I WILL KEEP TRYING.
I HAVEN'T DONE MANY LANDSCAPES,WATERFALLS, AND FLOWERS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS
SO IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS I AM TRYING TO GET USED TO THEM.
BECAUSE NOW,I CAN THROW OUT WHAT I DON'T LIKE-WITH NO DEVELOPING-NEAT, IT'S ALLOWING ME TO TRY NEW STUFF.
THANKS AGAIN!


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7/28/2005 10:21:32 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  BRIAN,
DO WE HAVE ANOTHER NAME?


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7/28/2005 10:38:18 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  The shutter speed needed to get a nice water effect depends on how fast the water is moving. This image in my gallery of the waterfalls at the FDR Memorial was at 1 sec. and the water was moving pretty fast.

FDR Memorial Link

A slow-moving stream would likely take longer.

Debby - put your camera on a tripod, switch to Av mode, and increase your f-stop until you get a shutter speed of 2 or 3 seconds. If you can't get a shutter speed that long on your smallest aperture, you'll need to use an ND filter, or just wait until the sun goes down some. Good luck.


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7/28/2005 10:47:44 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  THANKS CHRIS,
I'LL GIVE IT A SHOT TONIGHT AND I'LL GIVE YOURS A LOOK REAL SOON!
:-)


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7/28/2005 10:54:57 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  Another name what???


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7/28/2005 11:03:19 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  I GOT IT-
THANK YOU


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7/28/2005 11:07:31 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  Ok....:)~


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7/28/2005 11:10:43 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Brian, beautiful shot.

I don't know why Nikon used 200 as their lowest ISO but that's not a problem. You can always compensate for the ISO being too high with ND filters. Try a 2 stop or stack a couple together until you get the shutter speed as slow as you want it.


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7/28/2005 1:52:36 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Debby,
Even at 200 ISO you can get that veil effect without ND filters.
Shoot small falls on tiny creeks that are in deep shade. At f-16, your shutter speed should be around 1/4 to 1/8 second.

You will notice a blue-cast. This is normal. Shaded sunlight is very "cold". Some prefer this effect but you can set your white balance or add a warming filter to compensate if you want.
Don't let ANY sunlight hit the white parts of the rapids or they will over-expose.

These two recent discussions had some good advice:

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17753

http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/qnaDetail.asp?threadID=17567

Neal,
I checked out the specs on your camera. You should have no trouble veiling water.
As others have mentioned,..set your ISO to the lowest number and use a tripod. Your lens aperture should be at f-11 or smaller.
Shoot on cloudy days if possible.



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7/29/2005 1:32:55 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  Thanks for the compliment Kerry.


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7/29/2005 4:19:25 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Thank you Chris and Bob,
Chris your image from the memorial is just beautiful!!
Bob , I am going to Vegas this weekend , and will practise on a more active fall there.
the one here at home is only a few feet long and not very fast at all.
Thank you all for your help-I really want to get this and then on to Moon Shot(haven't messed with those since I got into digital either.
thanks again,
Debby


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7/29/2005 9:18:02 AM

 
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