Will Cheung Shoots Macro Photography With The Help Of MPB

How To Photograph Waterfalls With Wide-Angle Lenses

Waterfalls are a popular subject for photographers of all levels, and can be successfully tackled with all manner of lenses and techniques. Will Cheung decided to take the wider view, with the help from secondhand retail specialists, MPB.

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How To Photograph Waterfalls With Wide-Angle Lenses: Will Cheung Canon EOS R5, RF 14-35mm f/4L at 35mm, exposure 10secs at f/14 and ISO 50

© Will Cheung Canon EOS R5, RF 14-35mm f/4L at 35mm, exposure 10secs at f/14 and ISO 50


For scenics, shooting with a wide-angle lens makes the most of leading lines, adds drama to bold foreground and gives plenty of depth-of-field so everything from just in front of the camera to infinity comes out lovely and sharp.

How wide you go is obviously a personal matter. I have recently bought into the Canon EOS R mirrorless system and bought an EOS R5 with the 24-105mm standard zoom. Building up my Canon lens collection is taking time with the high cost of RF optics and the lack of better value independent autofocus options, so my widest focal length is 24mm.

For a recent photo trip to the Yorkshire Dales, I had in mind a mix of nature and scenic shooting. I had enough telephoto power for birds, but the lack of anything wider than was 24mm was a potential limitation to any scenic opportunities.

Canon has two ultrawide zooms in its RF lens range, the 15-35mm f/2.8 and the 14-35mm f/4, selling new at £2629 and £1749 respectively. Both are significant investments but the 14-35mm has the obvious advantage of being much cheaper and very slightly wider although I don’t know much difference 1mm makes in practice. Its slower maximum aperture can be an issue in failing light, but generally, for my photography, the slower lens is of relatively little consequence.

It remains a fact though that £1749 is a great deal of money so any possible savings are definitely welcome.

Checking MPB's website, I found the 14-35mm f/4 at £1399 so offering a considerable saving on the new price.


How To Photograph Waterfalls With Wide-Angle Lenses: Will Cheung Canon EOS R5, RF 14-35mm f/4L at 20mm, exposure 0.6secs at f/18 and ISO 50© Will Cheung Canon EOS R5, RF 14-35mm f/4L at 20mm, exposure 0.6secs at f/18 and ISO 50


One of the Dales locations I had in mind for shooting with the ultrawide was the Cauldron Falls at West Burton. The falls suit different lenses but my intention was to shoot with the ultra-wide zoom for a slightly different approach. Photographically speaking, it can be a frustrating location because it is so popular and readily accessible which means it can be very busy at weekends and in the summer months. I planned my trip for a weekday and had my fingers crossed that the place wouldn’t be too busy.

The plan worked, kind of. To start with I had the place to myself for a while and got some shots in the can, and then several swimmers turned up despite the chill in the air. That was a good excuse for an early lunch.

It was an overcast day and the soft, low-contrast light suited waterfall shooting. Not only that but the waterfall is always in shade so a bright day can mean serious contrast problems as well as the risk of lens flare and ghosting.


How To Photograph Waterfalls With Wide-Angle Lenses:


I started on the right side (as viewed from the front of the falls) and looked for a camera viewpoint that had a dominant foreground. For me, the cascades were perfect for that role with the main falls in the distance, so it was just a matter of finding a suitable spot for the tripod and I was soon firing off a few test shots with the 14-35mm lens at 20mm.

An unfiltered exposure was 1/8sec at f/11 and ISO 50. I wanted to blur the water and that exposure was only enough for a little blur. To the rescue was my Kase Circular Magnetic filter system and I used the 6EV neutral density filter to enable an exposure of 8secs. That gave lovely smooth water. I know how water is recorded can be a divisive issue among photographers, but here I went for smoothness.


How To Photograph Waterfalls With Wide-Angle Lenses:

© Will Cheung Canon EOS R5, RF 14-35mm f/4L at 20mm, exposure 5secs at f/16 and ISO 50


Happy with the first shot I crossed the bridge and walked down the left side of the waterfall. With care on the slippery surface, I worked my way to the base of the waterfall and set up the tripod for another series of exposures. Here my best shot was taken at 0.6sec at f/18 and ISO 50 with the 14-35mm lens at 20mm. There was so much flowing water that I didn’t need very long exposures.

My final shot was the most straightforward in terms of composition. I faced the waterfall front-on and went through the ritual of shooting a test exposure and then taking a range of pictures at different shutter speeds. I decided on a long exposure so again used a Kase ND to enable that. The shot here was exposed for 10secs at f/14 and ISO 50 with the 14-35mm lens at 35mm.

I had a happy and fruitful couple of hours at the falls and the 14-35mm enabled me to get the shots I wanted, so it's a welcome addition to the camera bag. It's sharp, compact and good value considering its specification - and of course even better value from MPB


The Latest News From MPB


Black History Month: Six inspiring black photographers

MPB, in honour of Black History Month, sought to shed light on prolific visual storytellers paving the way for creative expression, representation, and the Black gaze in photography.

To this end, MPB spoke with leading photographers Dondre Green, Jarrod Anderson, Oye Diran, Nesrin Danan, Inari Briana, and Sen Floyd.

An extract of the interview with Oye Diran follows, and you can enjoy the full piece plus the stories and inspiring images from the featured photographers by clicking here.


Oye Diran Interview:

How To Photograph Waterfalls With Wide-Angle Lenses: Oye Diran @oye_diran, fashion photographer from New York City

© Oye Diran @oye_diran, a fashion photographer from New York City


MPB: Tell us about yourself and your photography.

Oye Diran: My name is Oye Diran, I'm a Nigerian fashion and conceptual photographer based in NYC. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria then moved to NY at a young age. Growing up, I was always involved in the arts. Whether in or outside school. My mother, who was a professional visual artist, was also an influence in my life. I first picked up a camera in college and started photography as a hobby, taking photographs of friends and family. As time went by I became inspired to be more intentional with the craft. Combining my affinity for art and photography to tell stories, document experiences and convey ideas that mean a lot to me.

MPB: What is your main goal for your art, and what do you hope your viewers take away from it?

Oye Diran: My main goal is to inspire. Through telling stories that have been left in the dark, conveying life lessons and ideas that deeply resonate with me. I hope viewers are enlightened and empowered when viewing my work.


MPB Explained

You need kit to take photographs and produce videos, and taking the pre-owned route is a cost-effective way of making the most of your budget and keeping up with the latest developments in imaging technology.

MPB is one of the biggest pre-owned retailers with bases in the UK, Germany and the USA.

Trading with MPB the process is fair, safe, painless and incredibly easy.

Whether you have kit to sell, want to make a purchase or part exchange, start by going to the MPB website which is intuitive and straightforward to use.

If you have kit to trade, just start typing the name in and a list of suggestions from MPB’s huge database will appear. If a name on that list matches your product click on it and add its condition; if not, continue typing in the whole name and condition.

It’s worth bearing in mind that MPB’s database covers much more than cameras and lenses so if you have, for example, a photo backpack, tripod or filters to sell these can be shown as you type in their name too.

With all your kit listed, add contact details and a quote will appear in your inbox soon afterwards, although manually entered items will take one working day.

If you are happy with the quote, accept it and follow the instructions to get the kit ready for courier collection on a day to suit you. For higher-value deals, an MPB account manager will also be in touch, so you have a personal point of contact if you have any queries.

Once received by MPB, you will get a notification and after checking by its product specialists you will receive a final quote. This can vary from the original quote if there is a missing item – like a battery not being supplied - or your assessed condition differs from the actual condition.

A quote can go down, but it can also increase if the kit’s condition is better than your assessment.

The whole process doesn’t take long and MPB are in touch by e-mail at every step so you’re never in the dark, and only when you are totally happy with the deal, pass on your payment details or pay the balance in the case of part-exchange. Either way, the money or your new kit will be with you soon after.

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