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Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

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  #1  
Old 08-12-2008, 08:22 AM
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Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

I had an idea for shooting waterfalls, so I gave it a go. I just wanted to get some feedback on it.
Traditionally speaking, the "silk" or "cotton" look is usually what we're after. You slow down the shutter speed, crank up your f stop, etc.
In the special effect arena, when you're looking for something eye catching, you can speed up the shutter and freeze the water droplets in place.

Well ... years ago, before the advent of photoshop, the choice was one or the other. Nowadays we can have our cake and eat it too. So I shot both, and I overlayed the frozen falls over the cotton falls so there would be droplets on silk, or action in stillness.

I'm interested to know:

1) Does it look good?
2) Is it a worthwhile effort, or should I just abandon the idea altogether? (This is ignoring the fact that galleries and the like don't usually buy any but the silky type, which I'm aware of).
3) If it is a good idea, should the frozen water be stronger or softer?
4) Or should the frozen water be the primary, with the silky water enhancing it instead of the other way around?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 0009_Slow.jpg (96.0 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg 0008_Fast.jpg (98.0 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg 0007_Mixed.jpg (97.4 KB, 70 views)
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Old 08-12-2008, 06:26 PM
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0lBaldy 0lBaldy is offline
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Re: Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

IMHO you have captured what a waterfall should look like if photographed properly.. Good Job!
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:17 PM
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Re: Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

Much appreciated. I have to agree insomuch as to say that the silky look doesn't actually look like any waterfall I've ever seen in my life, and I've seen quite a few. Odd that it would be that very look that makes it into all the books, as though that (the cottony look) is an accurate representation of a waterfall.
I can see how slowing down the shutter is advantageous seeing that it makes the falls fuller. However, you lose all your action, and a waterfall is an active thing. It seems to me that shooting falls without water droplets and splashes is like filming an aerial battle without clouds to reference speed.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:27 PM
bazza64 bazza64 is offline
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Re: Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

I think it looks great, but then I have to agree i've been doing the same thing for yrs.
I'm not a fan of the silky look, not natural.

Well done.
Barry.
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:37 AM
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Re: Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

I think a blend is viable. If you think about how a waterfall looks to the naked eye (or maybe in a video) and not the camera, the main torrents are moving faster and become a blur. At the edges and at the bottom where it rebounds, the water slows down and becomes visble as droplets. So in answer to your questions, I think it is not which method should be primary, but how just how they should be mixed according to what really happens. Attached is a very quick mix to illustrate.
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File Type: jpg 0009_blend.jpg (81.4 KB, 24 views)
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Old 08-13-2008, 03:55 AM
katew katew is offline
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Re: Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

I agree with Alex - I like to see the sense of movement in the water. My husband has published a guide to the waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons in Wales, and all his pictures are taken with a fast speed to show the droplets and splashes.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:34 PM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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Re: Thoughts on some waterfall photography ideas.

I think you captured the essence of the waterfall perfectly. I especially like the lighting in the picture. It isn't the usual lighting for a longer exposure. However, IMHO it adds the right touch for believability, texture, and depth.

The stacking of the pictures worked well. Thanks for sharing.

Janet
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