04 June 2007

Whatcom Falls, or "What goes up must come down, come what may"

From my Bellingham June 2007 photo shoot series, this is Whatcom Falls. Waterfalls are another favorite subject of mine. To get that neat effect where you can see the motion of the water, you've got to use a slow shutter speed. I shot this one at nearly 2 seconds. That's pretty long in photography time. Then of course to compensate for letting in so much light with the long shutter speed, you've got to use a tiny aperture (large f-stop number). I shot this one at f/20. You also might want to use a very slow film speed if you have that ability. I set my camera to ISO 50 for this. If you've still got too much light, your only other option is to use a neutral density filter, which attaches to the end of the lens and decreases the amount of light entering the lens by 1 stop or 2 stops, or whatever number of filter you've got. I could have used about a 1/3 stop ND filter on this shot, but didn't have one with me. I could probably have sacrificed a bit of the motion in the water by speeding up the shutter a tad. But to be honest, I wasn't paying much attention to my own photos, as I was there mostly to coach my friend in her work, so I didn't take the time over it that I might have normally.

I did go over this in Photoshop with the Burn Tool in some patches of the rocks to the left that were washed out in sunlight. But there's not much you can do to burn in detail where the image is blown to pure white, like where the water collects between the rocks in this photo. It's still a good illustrative photo, and pretty nice looking if you don't know much about photography. But I'm not 100% satisfied with it.

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