Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Smoothing the Water

When I photograph water I love the effect of blurring the motion.  So, how do you blur the motion?  Believe it or not it is pretty easy.  All you really need to know is to use a slow shutter speed.  That is about all there is to blurring the water.  I would suggest starting at about .5 seconds or slower.  The longer the shutter is open the more blur you will get.  If it is windy that will be seen in any foliage so try and be careful. 

Your aperture will likely need to be fairly small (f16 or so depending on the amount of light) because you need the longer shutter speed.  If you are doing this in the middle of a sunny day you might need a neutral density filter to limit the amount of light coming through the lens.  This along with a small aperture would help give you the needed shutter speed.

This can be a very fun way to spend your time once the sunrise shots are over.  It is also a great place to go just before you hit your sunset location too. 

Another suggestion is to get in close.  Look for some abstracts as well.  My first thought is always to use a wide angle to encompass as much of the scene as possible.  Remember that a part of photography is making order from chaos so the more you put in the frame the greater chances of distracting from your subject.  This of course is not a rule but more of a suggestion.

Finally, I recommend a circular polorizing filter.  The one effect of this filter cannot be replacted in post processing.  It works just like polorized sunglasses and removes the glare from the top of the water, the rocks, and the foliage.  This gives you a look under the surface and gives you more color saturation. 

Get out there and give it a shot.  If you have any questions just email or call and thanks again for reading.

1 comment:

  1. I'll keep to the paintbrushes and melted wax...but this explains a lot about my ancient Minolta!