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How to get an effect when taking pictures of fast running water

ColouredImages 13 47 35 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2004 4:34PM
Please help...I am fairly inexperienced but keen. i have been enamoured by some of the shots lately on the gallery of streams/fast running rivers where the water appears almost like a cloud. how do i achieve that effect? I have two camers to use...FinepixF402 or canon 300D. Ireally would appreciate your comments and guidance so i can go out there and try for myself. i'll then post and await eagerly, all your comments.



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Carabosse 15 41.1k 270 England
25 Aug 2004 4:45PM
Slow shutter speed normally gives the flowing effect. Can you point to any examples in the gallery that have caught your eye?
geoffash26 14 2.5k United Kingdom
25 Aug 2004 4:46PM
The cloud as you call it is achieved with a slow shutter speed, maybe 15 or 30 dependind on lighting conditions and speed of water. You obviously need a tripod But the best is to go and test with different shutter speeds the slower the shutter the more blur you'll get on moving objects.
Hope this helps
Miles Herbert Plus
15 1.9k 4 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2004 4:51PM
As low an ASA as possible, a small aperture, and as long a shutterspeed as possible. Basically the idea is make the shutterspeed as long as possible, several seconds is good! Using Nd Filters and polarisers also help to cut down on light entering the lens and lengthens the exposure time.

You will need a good tripod or support for the camera, and recommend using a remote release, or timer to trip the shutter.
ColouredImages 13 47 35 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2004 5:10PM
Carabosse, The River Tamar on page 4 of todays gallery is a typical example of what i want ot experiment with.
ColouredImages 13 47 35 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2004 5:13PM
thanks for your replies, what a cracking site this is, only been a member for a couple of weeks and have already learnt more than in the last year. i will use the techniques you've mentioned so please look out for mine over the coming weeks and give me your opinions.

keith selmes 14 7.4k 1 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2004 5:55PM
Or several minutes by monlight.
Should've exposed longer though.
nigelf22 13 583
25 Aug 2004 8:02PM
........another way (don't know if this works with digital)is to use the "b" setting equivalent with a cable release (so the shutter is locked open) and expose for a couple of minutes, but every 10 secs or so place a lens cap over the lens (or a gloved hand) for a moment (or for however long you deem necessary - 10 secs+) if the water is moving (tidal) or a sea swell you can get a "misty" effect, but it's a case of experiment!
pj.morley 15 947
25 Aug 2004 8:41PM
This pic was taken at 1/2 second with an aperture of around f/27 on a DSLR.

However, the water was very fast flowing so slower water would need a faster shutter speed. It wasn't a particularly bright day but even this needed to have an ISO of 100 and a polariser to reduce the shutter speed...

If you have a digital camera, it's worth experimenting with a running tap and a sink or bowl. Vary shutter speeds and the speed of the tap to get used to the effects you can achieve..

All the best in getting your pics
nikon5700ite 14 1.8k
26 Aug 2004 4:51AM
I call it turning water into milk Smile
Before I got my Neutral Density filters and just had a polariser [ about 1.5 stops ] I managed to get of a stream in the shade down to 1/12 second and had milk.

Don't see much point in going longer as once the water is milk it stays milk.

But the technique has been done so often it is getting rather hacknied long before now. What is interesting are sharp frozen images of water.
andytvcams 15 10.4k 1 United Kingdom
26 Aug 2004 5:54AM
And you can see some of the examples at
steve5452 13 15 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2004 12:33PM
I have been trying to get this effect too, I have an Olympus C-765 UZ digital camera. I have managed to make the shutter speed longer upto 15 sec but I cant seem to change the aperture and I just get a white screen [:o( is it poss on this camera, can anybody help?


22 Apr 2009 11:56AM
I have been having no end of problem with trying to achieve this affect, all I get is an overexposed white screen and much frustration. What am I doing wrong?
jeni 10 7 United Kingdom
22 Apr 2009 12:42PM
there is too much light getting to the sensor, thus overexposing the image. use the smallest aperture you can (highest f/number) if you still cant get the effect you want, get some nd filters, these will block more light from getting in, so you can use a slower shutter speed.
22 Apr 2009 1:46PM
Thanks. I have the camera on manual , f4.5 and have been trying to vary the shutter speed, I manage to get a fairly decent image inside but as soon as I set up outside it all goes wrong. So basically it's too much light and I need som nd filters. Are there any other tips?

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