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Author Topic: Need neutral density filter recommendation for waterfall pics  (Read 24753 times)

Scott O.

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Need neutral density filter recommendation for waterfall pics
« Reply #20 on: March 04, 2010, 11:57:56 am »

Quote from: John
I've never quite understood the need for ND filters when shooting waterfalls.  Probably 50% of the shots I take are waterfalls, and I've yet to use an ND filter on any of them.  Granted, I'm usually f16-f20 depending on the scene and almost always ISO 50 and sometimes ISO 100.  It only takes 1-1.5 sec. of exposure time to get a nice blue action and sometimes that is too much depending on the amount of water flow.  Still, there are times when I expose for as much as 15 seconds depending on the scene.

1.  I ALWAYS shoot with a CPL, whether I'm using it to it's full effect on the scene or not... typically always have some dialed in however.
2.  Maybe the falls are just different here, being typically in a heavily wooded area without much light even in mid day.

I have used soft-edge GND's at times, but only when part of the scene is significantly brighter than the rest resulting in too much range.

I know people use them, but personally I fight the exposure times being too long as opposed to not long enough.




Your images are excellent, and at the same time examples of why you might need a ND filter.  How would you shoot the same image and get the same effect in full sunlight?

ChuckZ

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Need neutral density filter recommendation for waterfall pics
« Reply #21 on: March 04, 2010, 12:25:44 pm »

Quote from: John
I've never quite understood the need for ND filters when shooting waterfalls.  Probably 50% of the shots I take are waterfalls, and I've yet to use an ND filter on any of them.  Granted, I'm usually f16-f20 depending on the scene and almost always ISO 50 and sometimes ISO 100.  It only takes 1-1.5 sec. of exposure time to get a nice blue action and sometimes that is too much depending on the amount of water flow.  Still, there are times when I expose for as much as 15 seconds depending on the scene.

1.  I ALWAYS shoot with a CPL, whether I'm using it to it's full effect on the scene or not... typically always have some dialed in however.
2.  Maybe the falls are just different here, being typically in a heavily wooded area without much light even in mid day.

I have used soft-edge GND's at times, but only when part of the scene is significantly brighter than the rest resulting in too much range.

I know people use them, but personally I fight the exposure times being too long as opposed to not long enough.




I went back to the waterfall I shot with the 6 stop ND a couple weeks ago (shown in earlier post) and this time shot it with only a polarizer.  I like this one better as the shorter shutter speed (1/2sec vs 6sec) has resulted in a shot with more detail in the water yet still has the blur effect.  At this point I'm guessing that the ND filter is probably going to work better for those waterfalls that are in the sun and a ploarizer for those in the shade.  The speed and volume of the water, distance to the falls, etc probably play a part too.  For that matter, I'll take two shots in the future, one with the polarizer and one with the ND filter, and see which one I like best when I view them on my monitor.
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OldRoy

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Need neutral density filter recommendation for waterfall pics
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2010, 11:26:59 am »

Is it just me that thinks the "milky water" effect is one of the most toe-curling cliches in contemporary landscape photography?

A friend recently showed me a copy of a (UK) book entitled "Landscape Photographer of the Year". It comprises various categories (age groups, subjects) but basically, I think, displays the work of talented amateurs; certainly the hardware specs listed in an index are often fairly modest - a lot of kit lenses etc. Some very nice work though.

The book is absolutely full of shots utilising this over-used effect. And people moan about HDR!
Roy
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stamper

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Need neutral density filter recommendation for waterfall pics
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2010, 05:40:37 am »

Quote from: OldRoy
Is it just me that thinks the "milky water" effect is one of the most toe-curling cliches in contemporary landscape photography?

A friend recently showed me a copy of a (UK) book entitled "Landscape Photographer of the Year". It comprises various categories (age groups, subjects) but basically, I think, displays the work of talented amateurs; certainly the hardware specs listed in an index are often fairly modest - a lot of kit lenses etc. Some very nice work though.

The book is absolutely full of shots utilising this over-used effect. And people moan about HDR!
Roy

Probably a lot of photographers would agree with you about the clichés. It happens in all varieties of photography. You either like them or you don't? My photography was in a rut after doing all the "usual things" and I decided to buy some ND filters which led me to buying a new tripod. I am enjoying getting that effect at the moment but no doubt in the future I will get bored and move on to something"new". Meanwhile it is a worthwhile learning experience. Now could someone convince me to buy a dedicated flashgun and learn flash photography? I would need however to find some indoor locations where permission allows this, which I believe is getting harder?

asoames

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Need neutral density filter recommendation for waterfall pics
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2010, 07:38:28 am »

Quote from: stamper
Probably a lot of photographers would agree with you about the clichés. It happens in all varieties of photography.

Yep. Narrow depth of field, ultra-wide angle, high-speed flash, panning during exposure, crinkly old faces, golden-hour landscapes, motion blur, foregound "interest", HDR, panoramas etc. The clichés just go on and on. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy an individual picture for what it is. It also doesn't mean that everyone can make a great picture just by applying one or more of the "cliché" techniques.
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John Cothron

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Need neutral density filter recommendation for waterfall pics
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2010, 10:41:23 am »

Quote from: soberle
Your images are excellent, and at the same time examples of why you might need a ND filter.  How would you shoot the same image and get the same effect in full sunlight?

Thank you, and I have no doubt you're correct about full sunlight.  That's sort of my point, I've never actually seen a waterfall in direct enough sunlight to use an actual ND.  I have of course used soft edge GND's in waterfall shots to balance the scene as many times you have very dark areas/shadows.


Quote from: ChuckZ
I went back to the waterfall I shot with the 6 stop ND a couple weeks ago (shown in earlier post) and this time shot it with only a polarizer.  I like this one better as the shorter shutter speed (1/2sec vs 6sec) has resulted in a shot with more detail in the water yet still has the blur effect.  At this point I'm guessing that the ND filter is probably going to work better for those waterfalls that are in the sun and a ploarizer for those in the shade.  The speed and volume of the water, distance to the falls, etc probably play a part too.  For that matter, I'll take two shots in the future, one with the polarizer and one with the ND filter, and see which one I like best when I view them on my monitor.

Yeah there are a lot of variables, but somewhere in the .50 to 2 sec. range seems to be the sweet spot for getting good water texture.  Actually the waterflow in north GA is so heavy right now that water texture is very difficult to control and "needs" to be on the faster end of that shutter speed.  I've found myself shooting ISO 100 or even 200 this year due to the flow.  6 stops is a lot of light to cut however, but I may run into that situation yet we'll see.


Quote from: OldRoy
Is it just me that thinks the "milky water" effect is one of the most toe-curling cliches in contemporary landscape photography?

A friend recently showed me a copy of a (UK) book entitled "Landscape Photographer of the Year". It comprises various categories (age groups, subjects) but basically, I think, displays the work of talented amateurs; certainly the hardware specs listed in an index are often fairly modest - a lot of kit lenses etc. Some very nice work though.

The book is absolutely full of shots utilising this over-used effect. And people moan about HDR!
Roy

It's a matter of opinion, I take stop action shots as well...   guess which ones end up being more popular?  It's those cliche` shots you're talking about with the smoother textures in the water.  Granted it's not about being more popular, it's also my personal preference.  Given the same shot with frozen action vs. a smoother texture.... I tend to print and hang the smoother one.
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