Thursday, May 11, 2017

Silky water Photography

The dreamy look of silky water in a landscape photo
has always mystified me...how did they do that?
While on vacation, earlier this year, I decided to
give it a try.
 We had a hard and strenuous climb one day
trying to find the perfect place to setup.
This wasn't it, nor did we find it, but I did get the effect I was after
and with the notes below, I can try again sometime!


*****   Photography Notes   *****

Choosing a strong composition can be challenging when shooting waterfalls. Here are a few of the key guidelines:
  • Find a leading line or an 'S' to work with in your composition
  • Let the water flow guide you to the focal point
  • Shoot downstream of the waterfall to add depth
  • Utilize rocks and other elements in the scene to guide your eye to the focal point
  • Don't be afraid to try out several variations – always shoot at least 3 or 4 compositions at any given location
Find the waterfall or stream that you want to photograph and setup your tripod with your camera. Next, switch to shutter priority mode (the “S” or "Tv" on the dial) and set the shutter speed to a really slow number like 1/15s or 1/5s. The slower your shutter speed, the more silky smooth your waterfall will appear. Take the photo and see how it turns out.

If the blur isn't to your liking, decrease your shutter speed even more closer to 1/2 second. Don't go much longer than that if in bright light because your camera will end up having too much light to deal with and your photo will be overexposed. When choosing longer shutter speeds, take note of other elements of your image that might also be moving like the wind moving the trees. You'll want to avoid these otherwise the blurry effect will be all over your photo and not just in the waterfall.

On Manual: 

You can use the lowest ISO that your camera will allow and a small aperture (like f/16 – f/22) to slow down the shutter speed enough to blur the water.

A four (4) second shutter speed will usually be enough for silky water shots and you can achieve that easily with just a polarizer and a narrow aperture like f/16, unless your scene is in harsh, direct sunlight.

Collected notes ~
  • Use a shutter speed of 1/15 of a second or slower. A slow shutter speed renders moving water as a silky white blur.
  • Use a low ISO setting. A low ISO setting gives you a relatively small aperture, which ensures a large depth of field.
  • Use a tripod. When you use a slow shutter speed, stabilize the camera to get a sharp picture.
  • Use a neutral density filter in bright light. In bright light, you won’t be able to use a slow shutter speed and get a properly exposed image. A neutral density filter cuts down on the amount of light reaching the sensor, which means you can get a properly exposed image using a slow shutter speed.
  • Use a fast shutter speed when you want to freeze the motion of a raging river. You can also use a fast shutter speed when you want to show the details of a waterfall. You may have to increase the ISO setting when using a fast shutter speed to achieve a large depth of field, which requires a small aperture. Don’t increase the ISO too high or you’ll end up with a noisy image; use a tripod instead.
  • When you compose the image, position the horizon line in the lower third of the image. It’s also a good idea to place the waterfall to one side of the image.
  • Rotate the camera 90 degrees when photographing a waterfall. This is known as portrait format. Rotate the camera 90 degrees any time you photograph a subject that is taller than it is wide. The only exception to this rule would be a waterfall like Niagara Falls that is actually wider than it is tall.
  • Take a picture downstream from a waterfall. You’ll often find wonderful details when you venture a couple of hundred feet downriver from a waterfall, such as this image that was photographed a few hundred feet from Bridal Veil Falls.

*****  *****  *****  
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.
What you have caught on film is captured forever…
It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
Aaron Siskind

Happy Click'n!









Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Project 5 ~ Blurring (Lensbaby)

It's Christmas time...and Project 5 from "The A-Z of Creative Photography by Lee Frost requires a new accessory.  Lensbaby Composer.  This little attachment produces a neat affect but one I might not use very often I'm afraid.  The center or subject is in focus but everything around is blurred. This might be fun to play around with but it runs $ 90.00 to $500.00 and our bank account is tapped out now that we have completed our Christmas shopping.  Maybe in the future, I will consider a used one?!
This is the Lensbaby Spark for Canon cameras (here) priced at $87.95.

"A fun and affordable way to capture selective focus images with a digital SLR. Spark features a unique selective focus optic and a tilting lens body, allowing the aspiring amateur photographer to capture creative images in-camera that have a sweet spot of focus, surrounded by blur. Spark is a lightweight, all plastic (except for the optic, which is a multi-coated glass doublet) 50mm selective focus lens with a f/5.6 fixed aperture available for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. Spark is the perfect entry point into the Lensbaby system for photography students or newer photographers looking to expand their experiment and add a creative lens to their camera bag. Spark is compatible with the rest of the optics in the Optic Swap System, and with all Lensbaby 37mm threaded accessory lenses." (Description info from amazon.com.) Something tells me you can arrived at nearly the same results just using your manual settings....really, how did they do this before this gadget came along?! 

To see photos taken with the Lensbaby Spark go to Flickr here.

Anyways, this was something I had not known about
and wanted to share.  Now I can move on to Project 6 ~ Break the Rules.  
If you have used a Lensbaby, please let me know what you think about it.
Thank you!

*****   Photography Notes   *****
1)  Choose a small f/number (wide aperture) if you want lots of blur and a big f/number (small aperture) to reduce blurring.  Fitting no disc at all gives you maximum edge blur and minimum dept of field.

2)  "Like all creative gadgets, the Lensbaby Composer should be handled with care, otherwise there's a danger of overkill."  (Don't over use or it becomes redundant in you photos, I suppose.)

3)  It works best on simple, bold subjects - cars, architecture, people and still lifes.  The key is to experiment, and remember that only a small part of the image will record in sharp focus.  This doesn't have to be in the center, but it should be where a important part of your subject is, otherwise the final results may look a little odd.

4)  Automatic exposure is possible by shooting in aperture priority mode for the vast majority of digital and film SLR cameras except certain Nikon and Fuji bodies.
Happy Click'n!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Strange Sky

Tuesday evening we had an unusual sunset,
looking a bit like we had two suns setting or
a flare that might consume the sun.
I took this photo with my smartphone so it's a little grainy (noise).
At first I thought I had a smudge on my contact lens or
lost one.  I'm sure I would not believe this photo if I hadn't
been the one to take it.
No processing affects were used.
I guess we had enough clouds or
moisture in the air to produce this eery sky.
I'm sure a meteorologist could explain this phenomenon.
Later we had a full moon and it was bitter cold (39)
for this area. I love watching the sky!

I'm sharing this with "Skywatch Friday" (here)

Happy Click'n!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Project 4 ~ Backlighting

I'm learning things from this book,
 "The A-Z of Creative Photography" by Lee Frost,
in more ways then expected.
(1/640, f6.5, 100 ISO)
 I decided once life settles down,
 after the first of the year, I need to 
scout around for interesting locations to complete future projects in this book.
For this project, Backlighting, I practiced in my little backyard
and I'm not particularly proud of my available subjects.
Nearly all the leaves have dropped, things are
brown and where did the flowers go?
I'm looking forward to applying what I've learn
during our next vacation or day trip.
(1/400 sec, f5, 100 ISO)
Frost writes...
"Point your camera toward the main light source so your subject is backlit,
this technique, usually referred to as contre-jour (against the day), 
is one of the most exciting photographic techniques available 
and can be applied to a wide range of subjects, from portraits 
to landscapes."
(1/500, f14, 100 ISO Natural Starburst)
I'm in agreement with...
"when your subject is backlit you need to make a
conscious decision about the type of effect you wish to record."
Such as a silhouette, highlighting the outline of your subject,
creating a starburst, and many other dramatic effects.
Frost's photos for this chapter are exquisite, 
as all his examples!
(1/250 sec, f10, 100 ISO)
I hope to use the backlighting technique next time I try ~
capturing a storm coming in,
a peaceful day at the lake,
light shining in through a window,
or a street scene.
(1/250 sec, f4.0, 100 ISO)
The above photo is of a closeup of 
the valve of a propane tank not being used at the moment.
(1/250 sec, f4.0, 100 ISO)
This shot is of the last flower in our backyard
with the setting sun shining through it's petals.

*****   Photography Notes   *****

1)  One of the strengths of backlight is that it emphasizes shape so you will want to find subjects with strong shapes.

2)  When there is not enough ambient light to capture the details in the foreground you can use fill flash or a reflector.

3)  If you have your camera set to evaluative metering it will take into account the entire scene and try to determine the best exposure. This works great when you have a fairly evenly lit scene, but when you have a scene with high contrast it doesn’t work as well. Your camera can’t meter for both the bright areas and the dark areas at the same time.The solution is to switch to a different metering mode, such as spot metering, so you can tell your camera which part of the frame is important to you. 

4)  Create a starburst effect in a silhouette image when the sun is still above the horizon. To do this, position yourself so that the sun is partially hidden behind an object and use a small aperture, like f/22.

5)  Point your camera directly at the part of the scene you want to exposure for and use the exposure lock feature on your camera to set the exposure (check your camera manual to find the exposure lock function on your camera). Then you can recompose and press the shutter half way to set the focus while the exposure remains locked.  Exposure Lock Feature for my Canon 6D article from Canon Digital Learning Center here.  

AND    How to Modify Camera Exposure on Your Canon EOS 6D instructions from the "Dummy" series here.


Tips:

Metering Smaller sized aperture/larger F-number.   With sunrises and sunsets, one rule of thumb is to meter on the sky with the sun just out of the bottom of the camera frame. Use this as your starting exposure.

Set your camera’s Exposure Compensation to somewhere between -1 and -2, depending on the intensity of the backlight. This retains detail in the shadow areas of the subject.

Filter – You can also help balance the tones of the ground and sky by using a graduated neutral density (GND) filter, which are dark at the top and gradually fade to clear. A two-stop GND filter (dark area is two f-stops darker than the clear area) is suggested for sunrises and sunsets.

Online Backlighting article by Mother Nature Network (here)

Picture Correct articles on Backlighting (here). http://www.picturecorrect.com/?s=Backlighting+&search-button=Search


*****  *****  *****  
“One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing.
 It doesn’t turn off and turn on. It’s on all the time.”
— Annie Leibovitz
Happy Click'n!










Thursday, December 1, 2016

Beaker on the loose!

Remember Beaker?
Driving along the other day I saw Beaker from
the Muppet's.  Who knew he was hitching across America?
My husband thought the same thing,so
I'm not the only weird one here!
This traffic cone has obviously been here for a long time!
Happy Click'n!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday ~ Lake Hudson Pelicans

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

When I was at Lake Hudson, near Salina, OK.,
 I saw these pelicans basking in the afternoon sun.
There was one lone pelican on a stump.
He stretched for a moment 
did some beak scratching,
and soon nestled down to finish his nap.
I wonder why he was all by himself.
Hopefully, he is a leader and not just a follower
or worse, ostracized from the flock.
Any ideas why this pelican wants to be alone?
***
Share your Wild Birds, here.
***
Come join the party
at Wild Bird Wednesday...
Happy Click'n!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Project 3 ~ The world at your feet

The third exercise or project in a book titled
"The A-Z of Creative Photography" has been really difficult to 
wrap my mind around and execute, it's "The World at Your Feet".
My notes on this chapter will help explain this concept, 
but I think the jest is to look around you, even
at what is at your feet, so you don't miss anything interesting.

Okay, here goes, my photos....
(Ocean water drain off - reminds me of a burnt forest.)
You really need a copy of this book to see the author/photographer's
examples, they are (pardon the over used word) AMAZING, truly!
(Tree bark - reminds me of a road map.)
My photos, may not quite be right
representations of this project, however, I'm going to continue 
looking around my surroundings for unusual
and curious subjects. 
(Moss and fungus on bark - reminds me of
 an aerial photo of a forest.)
Whew, now I can move on to the next project, yes!

*****   Photography Notes   *****
1)  "But what of the landscape at your feet? What of the many patterns, textures and details in nature: the small scale subjects that make up the very scenes we try so desperately hard to photograph? They, too, can be the source of fascinating pictures and, unlike the grand view, provide much more scope for personal interpretation because no none else is likely to see them in quite the same way."

2)  Exclude the horizon from your field of view - once the horizon is gone, so too is that sense of space.

3)  Get into the habit of looking for details when shooting landscapes, instead of always focusing on bigger views.

4)  The picture will be more effective if the subject isn't recognizable because this tends to make us focus on that the picture is of rather than the elements contained within its boundaries.

5)  A close-up of the patterns in a rock may appear like a aerial photograph taken from thousands of meters above the earth yet is no bigger than your hand; ripples in a sandy beach look surprisingly like a vast desert; a small trickle in a river could be a towering waterfall cascading over cliffs.

6)  The quality of light becomes less important.

7)  Exploring the world at your feet can be considered macros and closeups I think, here's an article.
*****  *****  *****  
“Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease.”
— Anonymous
Happy Click'n!

Thank you for your understanding!

© Emily J Powell and Millie @ Click'n Camera, February 10, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Emily J Powell and Millie @Click'n Camera with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Photos may not be used, copied, printed without prior permission.