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Photography Question 
Nicole  Daniel

How to Shoot Water When the Reflection is Shiny

Driving over a bridge today I noticed how beautiful the water was. The sky was slighty overcast with the sun peeking through the clouds and the water was just sparkling with this silver almost white color, the same color as the clouds. My question is, IF I had had my camera what would have been the best way to capture this image exactly as I saw it (i.e. filters, polarizers, aperture, lens opening, flash, no flash). I am just a beginner so I apologize for what is probably an easy question, or has been asked before. Thanks for any suggestions!

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6/8/2003 1:22:45 PM

BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/28/2002
Depending on what kind of camera you have. If you have the point-and-shoot type, probably you cannot do anything but the photo may come out dark (underexpose). This is because the sparkling of the water will fool the camera's built-in meter. If you have a SLR camera with manual control, you can aim your camera to an area which does not include the water and lock the exposure. Then repose and take the shot. If you have no manual control but with exposure compensation, add one and half or two stops to the "correct" exposure indicated by your camera.

Included is a photo I took when I was in ZhangJiaJie National Park, China. I aimed my camera at the green bushes on the side of the Golden Whip Brook (that's how it is translated) and lock the exposure. I put on a polarizer to make the shutter speed longer to get the silky water look. In your case, you may just use a faster shutter speed to conserve the sparkling. Better yet, if you have one of those star filters, you can put it on (usually no compensation is needed for this filter) and see the different effect.

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6/8/2003 3:35:51 PM

Nicole  Daniel   Andy,
I have a Minolta Maxxum SLR that has both autofocus and manual settings so I will try your suggestions the next time this happens. Thank you so much!!

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6/8/2003 4:34:24 PM

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