Moving Water

Today we went for a 4km walk in the bush to the upper Nihotupu Dam, the Princeling and his class visited for a school project on water and he thought I would like to take pictures of the falls.  He was right.  The prospect of 3 different sets of falls to shoot was irresistible.

Taking pictures of moving water is deceptively difficult.  You can either freeze the water in motion with a fast shutter speed or turn it into a milky froth with a slow shutter speed.  The latter for me, is proving more difficult to master.

falls1This is my best effort to date with a slow shutter speed. 

In order to prevent the white water blowing out, ie being over bright I closed the aperture to f29 and used a shutter speed of 0.5 sec. The small aperture size means less light getting into the camera which allows a much slower shutter speed than you would normally get in the available lighting conditions.

If you intend to try this technique, it’s best to go on an overcast day.  That is how my day started and it WAS supposed to rain today, but apparently the weather guru’s got it wrong again.

I also used a circular polarising lens to bring out the colours and cut out the glare.  Circular polarising filters are relatively inexpensive and a worthwhile investment.  You can read about what they do here .  I could have used a Neutral Density filter for much the same effect, however it doesn’t bring out the colours the way a polarising filter does.  Just like your sunglasses, a circular polarising filter will make blue sky bluer, green grass greener so on and so forth.

I’m still not where I want to be with taking these shots.

The best tips I’ve found so far are here

I’ve yet to find the perfect waterfall too.  All of them have different attributes and I can never get close enough.  It doesn’t help either to have children with you while you do these things.  Oh they love the adventure, traipsing through the bush and scrambling around but they have to be watched and are easily bored.  I am lucky if I can get 2 or 3 shots before they are wanting to leave.  Having the Prince along on weekends is a big help, but if I linger I feel I am boring him as well.

Ideally, I need a waterfall in a nice accessible spot, that nobody visits (so I don’t have to worry someone might rob me, I’d die if someone took my camera) and visit it on a day when the kids are at school.

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One Response to “Moving Water”

  1. lovely shot. that link with the tips is great. jai took these

    http://jugalbandi.info/2008/02/sol-duc-falls/

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