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Photography Question 
Jennifer Funnell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/21/2005
 

Shooting running water


I love the effect that a long exposure of running water gives, that "frosty" feeling. But when I try (and try and try) the water effect turns out perfect BUT my picture is over exposed. How do I get the effect with the long exposure, without over exposing?


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7/19/2006 8:44:12 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Jennifer, not sure if you're shooting digital, but you need to select M (Manual) and either dial in a really slow shutter speed (1/4sec?), or go to Bulb, which will allow you to hold your shutter open as long as your finger is on it. At the same time adjust your apperature to the smallest opening (highest number) i.e. F22, F32? not sure what it'll go to - the smaller your aperature, the longer you can keep your shutter open.... but then you're going to have camera shake, so you really need a tripod, and preferably a shutter release cable - if you don't have the cable, try the self-timer on a really slow shutter speed. If your pix are blown, your aperture is not small enough, or your shutter speed is too fast. Its a bit of trial and error - depends on the light. I've a pic in my gallery "Silky Falls' and that was F22 at 1/4sec - but the light was quite low at the time - ie not very bright.


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7/19/2006 12:59:43 PM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   You must have a NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTER!!!! No other solution, as Robyn's method works well in low light, in normal sunshine, it will always overexpose without an ND filter!!!


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7/19/2006 1:21:35 PM

 
Nobu Nagase
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2003
 
Here's good reading on the same subject.
http://www.betterphoto.com/forms/QnAdetail.asp?threadID=23167

The key points are:
- overcast day, early morning hours, ot late evening hours for shooting water motion
- tripod
- cable release (or use self timer as Robyn mentioned)
- ND filter desirable or polarizer


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7/19/2006 1:25:59 PM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  You don't have to have a neutral density filter. I have created the same effect with a polarizing filter as well.


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7/19/2006 2:49:39 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  I've never used either filter (didn't know I should :) ) but could you not apply a filter in PS? I know you can't apply a polariser, but a Photo/warming/cooling?


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7/19/2006 10:08:15 PM

 
Jason A. Woodcock   robyn you can not creat this look in ps. you need a long exposure both a ND filter and a polarizer filter increase exposure times. I use polarizing filters for almost all of my landscape work. try putting your camera in AV mode choose a small f-stop something like f/16 or f/22 let the camera choose the shutter speed and bracket one stop both ways using your exposure compensation you should get good silky water.
p.s why dont you think you should use filters?


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7/19/2006 11:20:24 PM

 
Jason A. Woodcock   one more thing make sure you use the slowest possible ISO


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7/20/2006 12:06:47 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Jason its not that I don't think you should use filters, I just hadn't thought of it! I've one of these shots in my gallery - Blue Satin I think, and that was done balancing the camera on a rock, as I was hiking and didn't have a tripod etc with me. Just dialed right down, in fact I might have used Bulb. I've a Polariser, but not on my 17-70 lens, its for my 18-200/28-300, so am thinking of getting a ND filter, but don't know what to get - any tips would be great. Would you use both the polariser and ND together?


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7/20/2006 12:34:14 AM

 
Jason A. Woodcock   you could use both but a polarizer I think is a better filter when shoting water. not only does it increase exposure time it also reduces glare and saturates colors. in the end though it all comes down to the look you want I like a little detail in my water. the longer the shutter speed the less detail you will have so if you want very silky water you might use both filters. also ND filters come in varying stregths 1,2,or3 stops and a polarizer adds about 1 to 1 and a half stops.
i would stay away from bulb if possible you really souldn't need it most of my waterfall shots are somewhere between 1/15 an 2 seconds. your rebel cant shot up to 30 seconds with out using bulb. you should also look into getting the rc-1 remote switch if you dont already have one this way you can aviod camera shake.
one more thing look into using step up rings insteed of buying a new filter for each lens buy one for you biggest lens and use step up rings for the rest of them.
I hope this help
JAW


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7/20/2006 1:26:59 AM

 
Jason A. Woodcock   i sorry your rebel can shot up to 30 seconds with out using bulb


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7/20/2006 1:29:31 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  So my biggest lens is my 70-200 IS L - which I think is about 77mm in diamater, I would buy the ND for that, and then use a step up (down?) ring for my Sigma 17-70, which is a great landscape lens, and is probably about 72mm. What is the most popular ND filter, or do you start with the weakest, and keep buying??


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7/20/2006 2:24:59 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Forgot to mention (it's already been said) that you can use a circular polarizer, too. But on very bright days, sometimes this is not adequate. That's why I said ND filter. Good luck everyone getting that silky water!


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7/20/2006 5:26:31 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  The only thing I would add to all the suggestions is after taking an image properly exposed for the area surrounding the waterflow to take more images exposing for the water only and combining them in PS. You'll need a tripod to do this so both the photos are exactly alike. I usually take two or three exposures and then layer the one with the best exposure for the scene with the one that has the best exposure for the water. I usually put the one with the highlights blown out on the top layer then erase the water so the darker image beneath blends in. You will need to play around with opacity and carefully erase to make it look good but I think doing it this way is better than having a lot white areas in the water and an over exposed water shot loses it's texture too. I edited this image as described.

http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=2411512

Robyn, if you have deep pockets consider this ND filter.

http://www.singh-ray.com/varind.html


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7/20/2006 7:00:03 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  To say that you "need" an ND or polarizer filter to shoot this effect with water is not really correct.

All you really "need" to do to make moving water look frothy is use a slow shutter speed. The effect will vary with how slow your shutter speed is, and how fast the water is moving.

To maintain a proper exposure, you should use your slowest ISO setting (or slowest film), and close down your aperture (use higher f/stop) until your camera meter indicates a proper exposure.

If it's very bright outside, you may need to use an ND or polarizing filter to reduce the light if your smallest aperture still indicates an overexposure.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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7/20/2006 7:25:05 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   No, you don't "need" it, but it makes it much, MUCH easier. We don't "need" today's equipment to shoot a picture, we could build a shoebox camera....LOLOL. I'm in a foul mood this morning, please overlook me....


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7/20/2006 7:54:22 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Robyn steps over Sipho's foul carcass.... :) Cheer up grumpy, you just had a paid job!!! Thanks for that Chris - so far I've shot them reasonably successfully without any filters - in fact Blue Silk in my gallery was shot balancing my camera on a rock as mentioned earlier - no filter, no nothing! Sharon, you need to remember I live in very very expensive and very far-off South Africa! Our Rand is currently about R7.20/USD1.00 !! But I do get stuff from B&H from time to time, so it'll go on my wish list!


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7/20/2006 9:27:52 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   LOL @ Robyn! Thanks, I needed that.


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7/20/2006 9:33:04 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Oooh Sharon, just had a look at that its nearly half the price of my 350D!!! R2808.00 is a s*&^*%tload of money, but certainly something to hint broadly about, and put on the WIsh list. On problem though its 77mm (i've a 70-200 L lens which it would fit), but I mainly use my Sigma 17-70 which is 72mm for landscape. Would those step up rings that Jason spoke about work for these 2 lenses?


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7/20/2006 9:45:21 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Back again, Chris your website's looking great! Have you sold anything, is it a worthwhile marketing tool? I love the pic of the Bridge in Empty City - must have been kind of spooky when you're used to hectic traffic! Hope your city is getting back on its feet. We hear about Bayou's - are they like swamps??


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7/20/2006 9:53:55 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Chris, thanks for the comment about using your slowest film. I'm eeling like an orphan here. LOL


Robyn, a bayou is a body of water that was once a river. When the river changed course, it left the old channel as its own body of water which ofter will empty into the river it was once part of.


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7/20/2006 10:14:01 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Meant to type "I'm feeling". Who knows, maybe I'm eeling too!


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7/20/2006 10:15:30 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  LOL Kerry - It's nearly ed time ere, so I'm eading for a ice ot ath, then my ed! Sipho ope you're eeling better, not fowl anymore!


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7/20/2006 11:29:12 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   LMBO!


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7/20/2006 11:49:53 AM

 
Jagadeesh Andrew Owens   Robyn, I wasn't feeling like a chicken to begin with.....


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7/20/2006 11:54:56 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Fowl/foul....whats a few feathers between friends! But we digress!!


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7/20/2006 12:06:30 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Leave for a while, come back to this. WHAT'S THE WORLD COMING TO????????


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7/24/2006 9:13:03 PM

 
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