Thursday, October 17, 2019

Simple Pleasures

As photographers, we enjoy many of life's simple pleasures - a beautiful sunrise, wildlife encounters, or in this case a gently flowing stream. Being by the water is a primal experience for many of us, whether it is at the ocean or along forest streams.

Photographing moving water is relatively easy. To show the movement as in this image, a tripod is needed, as well as a cable release or remote trigger for your shutter. If you do not have either of those, you can still get great shots if you set your shutter on a 2-second delay. If you do not know how to do this, your owner's manual will have directions. The delay allows your camera to stop vibrating after you have pressed the shutter button. Even though you are on a tripod, there is still some vibration when you press the shutter, and allowing you camera the 2 seconds to settle down will result in sharp images.

I am always asked what the best shutter speed is to show the movement of water, and the answer is "it depends."  There is no hard and fast rule for the best shutter speed, since it will vary widely depending on how fast the water is moving AND how much movement you want to show.

For fast-moving water a shutter speed as short as 1/4 sec. can work well. For slower moving water often a shutter of several seconds or longer is needed.

The best thing to do is to start with a shutter speed of 1/4 sec. and then slow down the shutter speed in increments, up to several seconds or longer to determine what look you like the best. That way you have many options to choose from each and every time you do this type of photography.

It is important to remember that as you change the shutter speed, you must also change the f-stop so that the exposure on each shot is a good one. Just slowing down the shutter speed without changing the f-stop will result in over-exposed images. So be sure to check your Histogram on each shot to be sure you are getting good exposures.

3.2 seconds at f/20, ISO 400. Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens set at 140mm on Canon 7D Mark II body. Gitzo tripod with Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Simple pleasures are the last healthy refuge in a complex world."  -- Oscar Wilde

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