Webster's Falls by David Rees. This image won the City
of Waterfalls T-shirt competition
Chedoke Falls by David Rees. Click to enlarge.
By David Rees
To capture the beauty of a waterfalls requires only a few
camera settings, a sturdy tripod and proper lighting. The camera
settings can apply to both film and digital. In order to show
movement of the flowing water, the image requires a long time
exposure. There are different ways to achieve this, one is
by using a Neutral density filter to reduce light entering
the lens, the other is to set the ISO at its lowest setting,
usually 50 on most DSLR's, and a high f-stop(16-22).
to turn on the NOISE REDUCTION in CUSTOM FUNCTIONS.)
The lighting conditions also dictate the camera settings and
the need to use a Neutral density filter. Low lighting (morning,dusk,
overcast,storms) is ideal as the camera needs lots of light
for a exposure thus requiring a slow shutter speed. During
the day when the bright sun is directly overhead the use of
a neutral density filter reduces the light thus also requiring
a slow shutter speed. Another option to reduce shutter speed
is the DOF(Depth of Field) also known as the f-stop. Using
a high f-stop(16-22) further reduces light entering the senser/film,
but creates a very detailed image. This clarity is necessary
around the flowing water to show movement. The sharp part of
the image is static showing detail while the flowing water
is blurry again showing movement. It is necessary to
use a sturdy tripod during long exposures to reduce camera
Since some of the waterfalls have minimal flow during the
summer, I find that after a storm the creeks swell and the
area falls come to life. The air is usually clearer after a
storm as the rain scrubs the air removing pollution, dust,
humidity which makes for nice crisp images.
More suggestions/ tips:
- ISO: lowest setting possible
- f-stop: high end 16-22
- Tv(time value/shutter speed) should
be set low to achieve a correct exposure with the high
f-stop, usually in the seconds.
- Av(aperture value/f-stop)
should be set high to achieve a correct exposure with the
low shutter speed
- Either Priority's, Tv(time value) or Av(aperture
value), or M(manual) will result in same exposure. They're
dependent on each other in the camera's algorithms.
use of a neutral density filter when required to further
bring down the shutter speed on a bright day.
- Try to keep
the exposure indicator in the centre or at +1,-1 stops
to reduce blown out shadows or highlights.
The final part
is enjoying the view and capturing that moment for others
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