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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 23 Sep 2012 (Sunday) 07:54
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First waterfall attempt

 
lehmanncpa
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Sep 23, 2012 07:54 |  #1

My first attempt at any waterfall. Used a variable ND filter to get a 30 second exposure.

What do you think?

IMAGE: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-hfLkIVrhtng/UF5xBgquXzI/AAAAAAAAc88/ZwYJiKODeCQ/s1024/Niagara%2520Falls-1.jpg

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Sep 23, 2012 08:04 |  #2

It's a fascinating image, very clear and well exposed everywhere except the water, which appears to be completely blown out. The mist rising from the falls also creates a blurring effect that doesn't look right to me.

For a 30 second exposure it's not bad. I would try to shorten the exposure quite a bit while adjusting ISO and f-stop to get proper exposure on the buildings and sky.


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lehmanncpa
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Sep 23, 2012 10:46 as a reply to  @ Titus213's post |  #3

Thanks for the feedback. Here's my thought process while I was setting up. Please guide me as to where I strayed or where I can improve.

- I wanted the flowing look in the waterfall. Therefore, I knew I was going to need a long exposure time of >1".
- I framed the image using a 24-105mm between 35-50mm and wanted to remain in the f8-13 aperature range to maintain relative sharpness throughout the frame.
- I began shooting at ISO 50 to slow the shutter speed as much as possible.
- I had a 2-8 stop variable ND filter with me (second time using it), so I started at 2 and worked my way up until I achieved the look I wanted.
- The sky was overcast with lots of clouds, so the light kept changing fairly dramatically. On a perfect day, I would have been able to step up my shots nicely and evenly. But alas.
- After a few shots with shutter speeds between 1/4" - 4", I realized I wanted the water in the river to have a more pronounced flow. I wasn't happy with how the water in the river was coming out at shutter speeds below 10", so I stopped down to f13, kept it at ISO 50 and ND somewhere between 5-6 stops to get me a 30" exposure.

Unfortunately, to get the flow of water in the falls and the river, the mist became overly exaggerated and some of the whites to the right of the frame were blown out as some clouds cleared and the sun came out. It was a compromise I had to make.

Not sure if a graduated ND filter would have come in handy here or not. Regardless, I don't have one (yet), but it's on my list.

Thanks for your input.


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nwa2
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Sep 23, 2012 11:35 |  #4

What time of day was this?

Composition is interesting, I tried croping out the clouds at the top and it did not work so well.


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lehmanncpa
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Sep 23, 2012 11:39 as a reply to  @ nwa2's post |  #5

Late afternoon. 5:30-6ish.

It was tough getting an even, long exposure with the changing light. You'd meter for a specific scene and half-way through the exposure, the sun would come out from behind the clouds and blow out the highlights.

It wasn't ideal, but I plan to return for a day when it's nicer. I'd love to return and spend a day there in the winter. I've seen some winter shots of Niagara Falls that are truly spectacular.


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Titus213
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Sep 23, 2012 12:41 |  #6

A couple of things to remember:

The flowing look in water starts at just under one second so 30 seconds was overkill and appears to have killed all detail in it.

At f13.0 your DOF, assuming a focus point 100 feet out, would be from 45 feet to infinity.


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Luckless
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Sep 23, 2012 12:43 |  #7

If you go out again with moving clouds, try doing a composite image. Take a quick shot to freeze your clouds before/after you do your main long exposure with the tripod locked down. (Or do a whole bunch of different cloud shots if they're moving decently so you have some options to choose from)

Then merge them in post so you can keep sharp fluffy clouds along with your soft smooth water.


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lehmanncpa
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Sep 23, 2012 12:51 |  #8

Luckless wrote in post #15031772 (external link)
If you go out again with moving clouds, try doing a composite image. Take a quick shot to freeze your clouds before/after you do your main long exposure with the tripod locked down. (Or do a whole bunch of different cloud shots if they're moving decently so you have some options to choose from)

Then merge them in post so you can keep sharp fluffy clouds along with your soft smooth water.

Composites is something I've never attempted. I'll have to try it.

Thanks.


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Sep 23, 2012 13:23 |  #9

I think you nailed it. I love it. Well done!


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Sep 23, 2012 14:04 |  #10

Tony_Stark wrote in post #15031894 (external link)
I think you nailed it. I love it. Well done!

Thank you!


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stillinamerica
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Sep 24, 2012 07:52 |  #11

I thought it was great, crisp pop out shot


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Sep 24, 2012 08:07 |  #12

I do agree 30 seconds is over kill ( you start getting into the realm of hot pixels with many cameras ), but that said, I see no glowing errors in it. I like the motion... different tastes for different people. I am sure it looks amazing full sized.




  
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Sep 24, 2012 08:51 |  #13

I think it's GORGEOUS!!!


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Sep 24, 2012 09:57 |  #14

Croasdail wrote in post #15035028 (external link)
I am sure it looks amazing full sized.

I cropped it so it fits my dual screen setup. Each screen is 1920x1200 (16:10), so I exported a 3840x1200 crop and it looks amazing across both screens. The level of detail is quite impressive.

Here it is:

IMAGE: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-w4S0Zc24Ccc/UGB0ro2GYeI/AAAAAAAAc9I/74B4rKYIliY/s1024/Niagara%2520Falls%2520Dual%2520Screen%2520Wallpaper%2520-%2520small-2.jpg

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Sep 24, 2012 10:43 |  #15

To me there is a major contradiction in this image. The buildings are very sharp, and the sky and greenery are clearly defined. All that is in conflict with the creaminess of the waterfall and mist. Usually you see this creaminess only in a strictly natural waterfall photo where the waterfall is the focus of the image. Because of this contradiction, I'm not sure what the image is telling me. On the other hand as a work of art, and the vision of the photographer, it's a great photo. -rick


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First waterfall attempt
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