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Silky Water

MarkBroughton 10 286 1 England
31 Dec 2007 3:26PM
I have owned an Eos400d for about a month and have just "got into" photgraphy and am an absolute beginner. I have taken some shots and uploaded them of which I am very pleased that some folk have viewed and voted (thanks). I keep seeing shots of running water such as waterfalls or streams and the water has a smooth silky-like look. I am assuming the shot is taken with a slow shutter speed, but would really like to know a pointer in the right direction for the basic settings to take such a shot, there is one posted today entitled "wet shins" that sums it up totally. Any help would massively appreciated. Apologies if this subject has been covered a million times.

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Anthony 16 5.6k 17 Scotland
31 Dec 2007 3:35PM
easy enough to do. compose your shot, use a tripod, absolute must. and set yourself a shutter speed as slow as you want. you could put the camera into shutter priority, choose something around 1 second, and try that. review the image, if its not right then you will be able to adjust the settings. its dependant on the speed of the water really, so a little experimenting is required.

If you really cant get it slow enough, use a polariser to reduce the shutter speed a bit more, you will lose around 2 stops there, so gain some extra time.

Good luck and enjoy.

elowes 14 2.8k United Kingdom
31 Dec 2007 3:39PM
The longer the exposure the less detail in the water. You need to be able to get a very slow speed ie 1sec or more. It really depends on the effect you want.

You will need to set small apertures but sometimes this is not possible without using ND filters, depending on the lighting conditions.

Obviously a tripod is a must have.
Franticsmurf 15 829 Wales
31 Dec 2007 3:51PM
I find that longer shutter speeds (4 seconds plus) work well in removing detail and creating that 'silky' look. As has been mentioned, you'll probably need to use one or more filters to reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor, and set the ISO on the camera to the lowest setting.

I prefer waterfalls where the water is not gushing over - a moderate flow will produce a more transparent effect. Generally speaking, the water in the fall will be white and will tend to over expose if matrix or centre weighted metering is used. I tend to spot meter from the white water to ensure the highlights are captured.

Flat lighting conditions (overcast skies and/or sheltered locations) makes it easier to get a good balance, as the difference between the lightest part of the image and the darkest part (dynamic range) is less.

The best way to learn is to find a tame local waterfall and keep going back it in different conditions to find a combination of the above advice that works for you.

MarkBroughton 10 286 1 England
31 Dec 2007 3:56PM
Thanks to all of you who have replied, these answer my quesion perfectly, now I need to find a nice waterfall or stream, Swallow Falls here I come Smile Thanks again, most helpful...
dougv 14 8.4k 3 England
31 Dec 2007 5:12PM
I seem to remember that this question was asked earlier in the year by someone.

Have you tried a forum search Mark?

It's basically trial and error, so just have a go and see how you do.

Doug Smile
MarkBroughton 10 286 1 England
31 Dec 2007 5:31PM
Chris, thats a good idea, I will do that, thanks. And Doug, I didnt realise you could search the forums (bit dozy of me) but do now, and have found the thread from earlier in the year about this subject, thanks for your help Smile
dougv 14 8.4k 3 England
31 Dec 2007 5:37PM
No problem.
We're here to help.
Tooth 13 5.8k 227 Ireland
31 Dec 2007 8:22PM
Splashy washy is best Wink

Happy New Year

StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
1 Jan 2008 6:10AM
Tripod, aperture priority, set f16 to f22, cloudy, darkish day, or late evening after sunset, and use remote release or timer. I enjoy taking shots of rapids and waterfalls up to 1 hour after sunset. A 3-stop ND filter is very helpful.

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