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Old Sep 21, 2005, 9:49 AM   #1
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Please help me out with my waterfall photo's. I just can't seem to get them right, but I can't tell where the problem is. Any ideas?
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 11:07 AM   #2
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Doesn't look bad to me, if the exposure was a little longer you may get a more dramatic effect at the very bottom of the fall where the moving water speads out into the pool (you can get quite interesting "star burst" effects sometimes). The trouble is, the longer the exposure then the more of a "white blob" parts of the fall will become. There's no easy way around this, except to experiment with different exposures and hope for the best.

I hope you don't mind but I'm attaching one of my failures: a sort of not quite but nearly image to ilustrate both the beneficial effect of a longer exposure, and the problems it leads to. If anyone has any suggestions on how to solve the "white blob" problem I'm all ears as well.

Regards, John.
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 11:08 AM   #3
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Hi John! Looks pretty darn good to me.

Bob H.
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 11:39 AM   #4
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bhammitt wrote:
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Hi John! Looks pretty darn good to me
That's Bob!

At this resolution it's not bad, but the original is very high on contrast, and the adjustments needed stretched the available bit-depth too far. Sigh, time to buy a better camera I guess.

For John Reid: I forgot to mention in case you're not using them already, I use a neutral density filter (x4), and a polariser when doing water shots. The polariser is useful because you can adjust how much reflected light you want to get off the water's surface by twisting it round. Some folks stack multiple neutral density filters to get exceptionally long exposures, but I've never tried that so I can't comment on whether it's worth it or not. Probably depends on the ambient light levels I guess.

John.
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Old Sep 21, 2005, 1:12 PM   #5
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I think it's quite good. If you're not happy with it, try recomposing the shot by closing in on your area of interest.Maybe cropping out excess surrounding distractions. That's one idea. I've tried these types of shots before, and I found the more verticle the water drop, the better. When the water is spreading out instead of dropping, the effectdoesn't seemas good. At least that's what I find. I always seem to oooo and awe at the pictures of exotic waterfalls from tropical climates, where there is a long verticle drop of water before hitting the surface-with a model underneath of course. Tough to find that kind of subject (the waterfall, and oh, maybe the model too). :-)Keep experimenting...........Cheers..........thekman.
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 12:57 AM   #6
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For theKman - here is a shot with a model, although I'm sure its not the type you were hoping for. It would hace looked better with a female, but I'm sure not many would make it to the waterfall.

This photo better illustrates my problem. The colors just don't seem right, but nothing I try gets them right. I think its the refelections off the rocks that are causing my problems which a polarizer would sort out.
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 4:45 AM   #7
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JohnReid wrote:
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For theKman - here is a shot with a model, although I'm sure its not the type you were hoping for. It would hace looked better with a female, but I'm sure not many would make it to the waterfall.

This photo better illustrates my problem. The colors just don't seem right, but nothing I try gets them right. I think its the refelections off the rocks that are causing my problems which a polarizer would sort out.
The colours don't look bad to me, though of course I don't know what it looked like in real life. I guess a lot of the rock is blue-green in colour and it's given the scene a rather cold look. Maybe needs some other colours in the shot (reds and greens, foliage etc), to provide some contrast. Was this taken in overcast conditions? If so that can give a cold look as well.

I hope you don't mind but by way of experiment I've given your last image a digital-warm-up (20% 81-photo filter in Photoshot Elements), I think it looks a little less cold now, see what you think, you're the only one who knows how it looked in reality.

John.

John.
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 4:45 AM   #8
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Hm, I think you should give it a try and lower exposure time. I miss the details in the falling water - but this may be just me and a personal preference. It lookes almost blurred to me - washed out like the long exposure night scenery pictures with all the car lights producing lines on the pictures. It looks to me that you traced the drops of water just too long...

Here's a waterfall pic from me. See the washed out detail at the water? And see almost the traces of the water drops? Don't have the exposure values here right now but it's handheld so 1/20 or faster I'd say. To my mind you should try for an exposure that shows the fast moving water drops and show that "trace" of them, but not overdo it.

Hope that makes any sense, just my 2 cents.

Regards,

Th.


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Old Sep 22, 2005, 4:48 AM   #9
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Sigh....

I may have been too subtle, turning the layer on and off in photoshop the effect was very clear, but I can hardly tell the difference between them in my browser, oh well.

John.
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Old Sep 22, 2005, 5:01 AM   #10
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To John - Thanks for the change, it isn't subtle enough not to be noticeable and I think it makes a difference, thanks. I think the best solution would be to color correct the rocks only, but ideally you shouldn't have to do that for every photo. The photos were taken in sunlight, but under dense shade, from the foiledge and cliff face.

To thkn777 - I hear what you are saying. It's a difficult one to get right, either capture the detail in the water or get the smooth misty look. I suppose it depends on the look you are going for.
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