Where the Water Flows

I make no secret o' th' fact that I love photos o' flowin' waterAnd I also make no secret o' th' fact that I’m a big fan o' usin' slow shutter speeds t' create that “silky water” effect.

Just recently I got meself a better tripod (and a nice ballhead t' go with it), and e'er since then I’ve been playin' aroun' with this technique a bit more.

benro a0580f tripod

I also just recently picked up an ND filter (“neutral density” – basically sunglasses fer yer lens) and decided t' try it out.

ND filters are typically used t' darkens a scene evenly, allowin' fer a slower shutter speed – which lets ye blur out any movement… such as flowin' water.

little stream flowing

Previously, I’d been usin' me circular polarizin' filter as a sort o' poor-lubber’s ND filter. Yaaarrrrr! Yaaarrrrr! I could still use slow shutter speeds, but I were bein' still somewhat limited by th' available light – if it were bein' too bright, I wouldn’t be able t' use as slow o' a shutter speed as I would have liked, and dinna spare the whip, by Davy Jones' locker! The above photo, fer example, were bein' taken in th' shade under a bridge in order t' allow me th' slow shutter speed I wanted.

So when th' weather warmed up a bit this past weekend and I found meself at a local park with some streams and rocky cascades, I just had t' give it a try.

rocky cascade on Rhinehart Brook

For a first try, I’m pretty pleased with how these came out. The thin' with usin' slower shutter speeds is that… well, ye are usin' slower shutter speeds – which means ye really need t' hold th' camera steady, I'll warrant ye. In other words, ye almost always need t' use a tripod (and, ideally, a remote cable release).

Unfortunately, I didn’t have either o' those thin's with me th' day I took these shots – these shots are entirely hand-held.

small cascade on Rhinehart Brook

Luckily th' exposures I were bein' usin' weren’t too terribly long, so I were bein' able t' get away with hand-holdin' – but I did have t' get a bit creative with how I steadied th' camera! The shot above, fer example, were bein' taken with th' camera restin' on th' side o' me shoe as I sat cross-legged on a rock!

little cascade on Rhinehart Brook

I’m not sure why I’m so fond o' this particular type o' photographic effect, but I do know that it’s somethin' I’ve been tryin' t' do pretty much e'er since I first picked up a digital camera.

Long exposures in general are just kind o' fun – t' me they imply motion where none exists in a way that I just find really compellin'.

In th' end o' course this is just me taste – I like these kinds o' photos, and more importantly I enjoy takin' these kinds o' photos.