Waterfalls - Part I Article

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ron@ronbigelow.com, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. Guest

    , Jul 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. Me Guest

    wrote:
    > I have just posted Part I of a four part series on photographing
    > waterfalls. The first article focuses on the basics of setting up for a
    > waterfall shot. The subsequent articles focus on the more advanced
    > issues encountered when shooting a waterfall. The article can be found
    > on my web at:
    >
    > http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm


    Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.

    This is just MHO of course.

    Zip
    Me, Jul 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    I agree with you. I also thought I must be the only one who doesn't
    like
    the plastic look. However, all the teachings seem to point to longer
    exposures.
    Let's see how many agree with us.

    Charles S. Ih

    Me wrote:

    > > http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm

    >
    > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.
    >
    > This is just MHO of course.
    >
    > Zip
    , Jul 12, 2006
    #3
  4. Frank Pittel Guest

    I've found there to be an important balance in to long of an exposure
    and to short of an exposure. If the exposure is to long the water
    picks up a plastic look and loses all detail. If the exposure is to
    short all you get are drops of water hanging in the air. The trick
    is to get an exposure length that makes the water look as it's flowing
    but doesn't lose the flying drops, whirlpools, etc.



    <> wrote:
    : I agree with you. I also thought I must be the only one who doesn't
    : like
    : the plastic look. However, all the teachings seem to point to longer
    : exposures.
    : Let's see how many agree with us.

    : Charles S. Ih

    : Me wrote:

    : > > http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm
    : >
    : > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    : > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    : > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    : > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    : > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.
    : >
    : > This is just MHO of course.
    : >
    : > Zip


    --




    -------------------
    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    Frank Pittel, Jul 12, 2006
    #4
  5. wrote:
    > I have just posted Part I of a four part series on photographing
    > waterfalls.


    Ron, I just wanted to say thanks for all your work on these
    articles. I happen to have a waterfall conveniently close to my house,
    so I'll definitely be making use of this series!

    --
    Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression
    and deceit, of unsuccessful and successful wars may never reach me
    anymore.
    -- William Cowper
    Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner, Jul 12, 2006
    #5
  6. Neil Ellwood Guest

    On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 06:29:02 -0700, Me wrote:

    > wrote:
    >> I have just posted Part I of a four part series on photographing
    >> waterfalls. The first article focuses on the basics of setting up for a
    >> waterfall shot. The subsequent articles focus on the more advanced
    >> issues encountered when shooting a waterfall. The article can be found
    >> on my web at:
    >>
    >> http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm

    >
    > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.
    >
    > This is just MHO of course.
    >
    > Zip

    You are not the only one - I feel the same. The long exposures of moving
    water just leave pictures of cotton wool in your memory.
    --
    Neil
    Delete l to reply
    Neil Ellwood, Jul 12, 2006
    #6
  7. Tony Guest

    On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 09:16:06 -0500, Frank Pittel
    <> wrote:

    >I've found there to be an important balance in to long of an exposure
    >and to short of an exposure. If the exposure is to long the water
    >picks up a plastic look and loses all detail. If the exposure is to
    >short all you get are drops of water hanging in the air. The trick
    >is to get an exposure length that makes the water look as it's flowing
    >but doesn't lose the flying drops, whirlpools, etc.
    >
    >
    >
    > <> wrote:
    >: I agree with you. I also thought I must be the only one who doesn't
    >: like
    >: the plastic look. However, all the teachings seem to point to longer
    >: exposures.
    >: Let's see how many agree with us.
    >
    >: Charles S. Ih
    >
    >: Me wrote:
    >
    >: > > http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm
    >: >
    >: > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    >: > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    >: > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    >: > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    >: > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.
    >: >
    >: > This is just MHO of course.
    >: >


    To me it's a tiresome, at least 30 year old cliche and should be
    refreshed -or dumped altogether.

    Since most people use a tripod to get their 'platic flow' look, just
    take another shot around 1/60th and blend the two in Photoshop to
    recover the 'as you see it' look and a fainter smooth flow mist
    superimposed (if one still wants it).

    I nearly got de-frocked at our camera club for queerying the plastic
    cliche. 20 or thirty years should be enough to remove any novelty in
    it and recover the beauty of the dynamics of water droplets and flow.

    Cheers, Tony.
    Tony, Jul 12, 2006
    #7
  8. Jamie Dolan Guest

    Ron,

    Great Articles.

    Thanks!

    jamie

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >I have just posted Part I of a four part series on photographing
    > waterfalls. The first article focuses on the basics of setting up for a
    > waterfall shot. The subsequent articles focus on the more advanced
    > issues encountered when shooting a waterfall. The article can be found
    > on my web at:
    >
    > http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm
    >
    > Other articles can be found at:
    >
    > http://ronbigelow.com/articles/articles.htm
    >
    > Ron Bigelow
    > http://ronbigelow.com
    >
    Jamie Dolan, Jul 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Tony wrote:
    > On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 09:16:06 -0500, Frank Pittel
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> I've found there to be an important balance in to long of an exposure
    >> and to short of an exposure. If the exposure is to long the water
    >> picks up a plastic look and loses all detail. If the exposure is to
    >> short all you get are drops of water hanging in the air. The trick
    >> is to get an exposure length that makes the water look as it's flowing
    >> but doesn't lose the flying drops, whirlpools, etc.

    << Snipped bits out >>
    >
    > I nearly got de-frocked at our camera club for queerying the plastic
    > cliche. 20 or thirty years should be enough to remove any novelty in
    > it and recover the beauty of the dynamics of water droplets and flow.
    >


    20-30 years?? Try way over a hundred. In some processes back then,
    exposures even outdoors might be an hour or so. Probably weren't able to
    catch a drop in their wildest dreams.

    Wonder if the fact that for the first, say 50, years of long exposure
    photogs cemented in this style....

    --
    John McWilliams
    John McWilliams, Jul 13, 2006
    #9
  10. Tony wrote:

    > To me it's a tiresome, at least 30 year old cliche


    You can find people who will feel that way about all kinds of
    photographic subjects. Seems to me that to call something "cliche" is
    itself becoming cliche. :)


    --
    www.ericschreiber.com
    Eric Schreiber, Jul 13, 2006
    #10
  11. In article <>, Me
    <> wrote:

    > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.


    God knows I've photographed enough flowing water through the years. But
    you only have two choices - stopped motion or flowing. I guess the key
    is getting just enough movement without making it look like cotton.
    Randall Ainsworth, Jul 13, 2006
    #11
  12. Randall Ainsworth wrote:

    > God knows I've photographed enough flowing water through the years.
    > But you only have two choices - stopped motion or flowing.


    Multiple exposures of stop motion can be interesting as well.


    > I guess the key is getting just enough movement without making
    > it look like cotton.


    Unless that's the look one is going for.


    --
    www.ericschreiber.com
    Eric Schreiber, Jul 13, 2006
    #12
  13. Paul Mitchum Guest

    Me <> wrote:

    > wrote:
    > > I have just posted Part I of a four part series on photographing
    > > waterfalls. The first article focuses on the basics of setting up for a
    > > waterfall shot. The subsequent articles focus on the more advanced
    > > issues encountered when shooting a waterfall. The article can be found
    > > on my web at:
    > >
    > > http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm

    >
    > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.
    >
    > This is just MHO of course.


    I agree. The cotton-candy look doesn't appeal to me.

    I think non-photographers like it because it's not like a photo they
    could take with their point-and-shoot. It's actually a sort of
    threshhold beyond which You Must Be A Real Photographer. You have magic
    in your fingers to turn water into cotton candy! Or something. Ladies
    and gentlemen, I give you the Waterblur flickr group:
    <http://www.flickr.com/groups/waterblur/pool/>

    And I'm not above using the technique myself:
    <http://www.flickr.com/photos/mile23/65040041/>

    :)
    Paul Mitchum, Jul 13, 2006
    #13
  14. wrote:

    >>>http://ronbigelow.com/articles/waterfalls-1/waterfalls-1.htm

    >>
    >>Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    >>long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    >>I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    >>to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    >>droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.
    >>
    >>This is just MHO of course.
    >>
    >>Zip

    >
    > > I agree with you. I also thought I must be the only one who doesn't

    > like
    > the plastic look. However, all the teachings seem to point to longer
    > exposures.
    > Let's see how many agree with us.
    >
    > Charles S. Ih


    You can add my vote against 'cotton wool' flowing water! I suppose it's
    because it's the easy way out. Most falls I know of are in deep shaded
    gullys, trees overhanging, etc - so a long exposure is a prerequisite.

    Trying to photograph water so a print 'looks' wet is darned difficult.
    Not that I've had that much experience, living in this dry country!
    Phil

    --

    http://www.users.on.net/kempster/
    South 34:55.898
    East 138:35.741
    Phil Kempster, Jul 13, 2006
    #14
  15. Paul Mitchum <0m> wrote:
    > I agree. The cotton-candy look doesn't appeal to me.
    > I think non-photographers like it because it's not like a photo they
    > could take with their point-and-shoot.


    I think what makes a lot of pictures interesting is that, and whether
    they look like something you could actually see or not. Your eye/brain
    integrates the view over a short period of time, so either a long
    exposure that makes the water look very soft and blurred, or a very
    short exposure that completely freezes the action has an unnatural look
    to it that can add interest.

    --
    Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression
    and deceit, of unsuccessful and successful wars may never reach me
    anymore.
    -- William Cowper
    Jeremiah DeWitt Weiner, Jul 13, 2006
    #15
  16. Frank Pittel Guest

    Randall Ainsworth <> wrote:
    : In article <>, Me
    : <> wrote:

    : > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    : > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    : > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    : > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    : > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.

    : God knows I've photographed enough flowing water through the years. But
    : you only have two choices - stopped motion or flowing. I guess the key
    : is getting just enough movement without making it look like cotton.

    My goal is to get an image that looks about the way the human eye sees
    it. (most of the time anyway :)) Thanks to the persistance of vision
    when you look at a waterfall you don't see drops of water hanging in
    the air. Then again you don't see it as cotton either.
    --




    -------------------
    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    Frank Pittel, Jul 13, 2006
    #16
  17. Tony Guest

    On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 18:45:57 -0500, "Eric Schreiber" <eric at
    ericschreiber dot com> wrote:

    >Tony wrote:
    >
    >> To me it's a tiresome, at least 30 year old cliche

    >
    >You can find people who will feel that way about all kinds of
    >photographic subjects. Seems to me that to call something "cliche" is
    >itself becoming cliche. :)


    It is not the subject which is the cliche, it's the long exposure
    treatment.

    I am not using the old word 'cliche' here but a new mnemonic from the
    phrase:- Contrived Looking Image Captured (for) Hackneyed Effect - or
    CLICHE (note the lack of accent over the 'e'). ;=)
    Tony, Jul 13, 2006
    #17
  18. Tony Guest

    On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 16:42:37 -0700, John McWilliams
    <> wrote:

    >Tony wrote:
    >> On Wed, 12 Jul 2006 09:16:06 -0500, Frank Pittel
    >> <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> I've found there to be an important balance in to long of an exposure
    >>> and to short of an exposure. If the exposure is to long the water
    >>> picks up a plastic look and loses all detail. If the exposure is to
    >>> short all you get are drops of water hanging in the air. The trick
    >>> is to get an exposure length that makes the water look as it's flowing
    >>> but doesn't lose the flying drops, whirlpools, etc.

    ><< Snipped bits out >>
    >>
    >> I nearly got de-frocked at our camera club for queerying the plastic
    >> cliche. 20 or thirty years should be enough to remove any novelty in
    >> it and recover the beauty of the dynamics of water droplets and flow.
    >>

    >
    >20-30 years?? Try way over a hundred. In some processes back then,
    >exposures even outdoors might be an hour or so. Probably weren't able to
    >catch a drop in their wildest dreams.


    Yes, I accept the age comment but I consider it an affectation only
    since the time when the choice to take-it-as-you-see it was overridden
    to produce the cotton effect. Not that that was just 30 years ago
    either but I didn't see much of this until the 1960's. (I was born in
    the 1930's.)

    Tony.
    Tony, Jul 13, 2006
    #18
  19. Tony Guest

    On Thu, 13 Jul 2006 10:04:33 -0500, Frank Pittel
    <> wrote:

    >Randall Ainsworth <> wrote:
    >: In article <>, Me
    >: <> wrote:
    >
    >: > Am I the only one here who does not particularly like
    >: > long-shutter-speed pictures of waterfalls?
    >: > I never quite understood what is the appeal: once the water is reduced
    >: > to a uniform white stripe you loose all the dynamics of flying
    >: > droplets, whirlpools, rivulets etc.
    >
    >: God knows I've photographed enough flowing water through the years. But
    >: you only have two choices - stopped motion or flowing. I guess the key
    >: is getting just enough movement without making it look like cotton.
    >
    >My goal is to get an image that looks about the way the human eye sees
    >it. (most of the time anyway :)) Thanks to the persistance of vision
    >when you look at a waterfall you don't see drops of water hanging in
    >the air. Then again you don't see it as cotton either.


    Usually, in daylight, something around 1/60th gives an image close to
    what the eye sees with water flow. I assume (only) that in much poorer
    light that would come down to perhaps 1/15th.

    You can photograph a bathroom shower usimg a range of speeds,
    including electronic flash, to get a good idea of which speed gives
    you the image you expect to see, i.e. a water stream rather than
    individual droplets.

    Tony.
    Tony, Jul 13, 2006
    #19
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