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Beginner pics of water falls

24 Jun 2007 1:22PM
hi all,
i am new to the dslr world of cameras,i have recently bought a canon 400d and a canon 70-300 do is usm lense.its my first dslr and ive not had much time to play around with the settings on the camera at the moment because of working to pay for the camera lol.i would like some advice on what sort off settings i would get the best pictures with, and would i need a tripod to keep the camera still whilst taking a picture of the waterfall.
thanks for any advice

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KenTaylor Plus
13 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
24 Jun 2007 1:54PM

Quote:would i need a tripod to keep the camera still

Alongside the camera and lens its your must have item if doing any landscape.
If you want the sense of blurred water flow its slow shutter speed and small aperture.. To freeze it in motion then its a fast shutter speed and large aperture.
Better still look here
miptog 12 3.6k 61 United Kingdom
24 Jun 2007 1:57PM
richard00 11 504 1
24 Jun 2007 2:09PM
For waterfalls ND filters are useful too - cheap on ebay, and a cable release comes in handy too. The 70-300mm will not be wide enough for most waterfalls, you'll need something closer to 18mm - an 18-55, or the sigma 18-125 . Comes down to budget really.
jeanie Plus
14 6.0k 6 United Kingdom
24 Jun 2007 3:32PM
ND filters unless its a dull day and you can get away without using them, tripod, remote cable, cloth to wipe lens of inevitable spray if it's a waterfall you are shooting, and last but not least, wellies! Smile
justin c 14 5.0k 36 England
24 Jun 2007 3:44PM
With respect,I'd disagree with Richard's advice above,whilst those items may indeed be desirable and useful at times,there is no need for any further expense (at this early stage) in order to be able to take excellent waterfall images,other than a tripod, as mentioned above ,which really should be classed as an essential item for this type of photography.
Instead of ND filters just choose a time of day when light quality and intensity is right for the type of image you wish to create.
Generally dull cloudy weather is ideal as opposed to bright sunshine.
Dawn or dusk is even better.
A wide angle lens is indeed useful but you can certainly make the most of what you have by picking out specific parts of the scene as opposed to capturing the whole view.
The camera's self timer will suffice untill a remote release can be purchased.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
24 Jun 2007 3:51PM

Quote: would like some advice on what sort off settings i would get the best pictures with

if you want milky water, all smooth etc.

F16 or F22 - use Av or M exposure modes to get the time.

If you want the water to look frozen in an instant, you'l need a fast shutter, so

ISO400-800 (say)
Shutter speed of around 1/250th should freeze water sufficiently - use Tv or M to set the shutter, then work ot the aperture you need. F5.6-f8 - depends how bright it is really
24 Jun 2007 7:54PM
thanks everyone for your advice,
i didnt realise that the standard 18-55 lense that came with the camera kit would be better for these types of photos.
i will have to look into buying a tripod and some wellies lol,
thanks for the tips on how to make the water look milky, i will try out those settings.
29 Jun 2007 12:56PM
One thing to bear in mind when deciding on settings to use for waterfalls is.. how fast the water is coming over the top!

If the water is coming over really fast, you don't need as slow a shutter speed as you would if it was moving slowly, to get the same effect.

I find taking a number of shots at different shutter speeds until I find one I like helps. Just experiment to your hearts content, especially when using digital.

One filter that everyone needs for shooting water is a polariser, this cuts down any glare on the water and also boosts the saturation of any colours. The other good thing is it cuts down the light quite a bit so you can get even slower speeds, especially if used WITH the ND filters.

I have some shots of a small local waterfall in my portfolio if you want to have a look.

29 Jun 2007 8:29PM
thanks Mick,
i just had a look at your pictures,excellent pictures there mate.
im going to Wales next month and have found some large water falls up there on the map.
i will try experimenting at different speeds,with all the rain that we are having at the moment a bet the water is pouring down the falls lol,
Nickscape 12 708 9 England
29 Jun 2007 9:22PM
Get a Polariser - definatly needed to take the reflection from the water, it will prolong exposure and also remove the glare from the wet rocks, they dont cost that much but make such a difference to the finished picture! Try and experiment with different speeds. on a dull day start with 1/10th seconds at f/11 ish to get slightly blurred water, if you to smooth more, go to f/22 and around 2 seconds any more and the water will become more silky effective depending on the type of waterfall. Take lots of shots, see what works on the screen and try again.

Goggz 11 2.3k 72 Wales
29 Jun 2007 11:53PM
Personally I use a piece of scaffolding called a Benbo as a tripod. Best thing since sliced bread IMHO. Fiddly to set up but very versatile.

Also I LOVE my Manfrotto 322RC2 head. Both of these are a superb combination that allows you to get very low down if required and are ace for non-mobile macro work too.

Not too heavy either.

Agree entirely about the polariser. If you are going to get a WIDE angle lens like the Sigma 10-20 f4 then you need to consider what sort of filter system to get otherwise you'll see the frame of the filter holder in very wide shots.

Get darker ND filters rather than lighter.

HTH & good luck! Goggz

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