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Thread: Real Water

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Real Water

    I've been trying to capture water that way it looks when I see it just before I push the shutter. So far all I get is 'Well you would have had to be there to see what it Really looked like!'.

    This image is almost full frame so that once I discover what needs to be done I have some cropping options.

    There are blown highlights on top and right that will most likely be cropped away in the final image.

    I would like the surface of the water to glisten, but I would also like to be able to see clealy to the bottom where the water is shallow enough. I also want the reflections in the ripples to be sharp and clear as they were when I took the shot. The bubbles on the water surface should also be sharp and clear to the point where you feel you could reach out and touch them.

    My feeling is that the best spot in the image to achieve this would be where the water tumbles down the rocks.

    I have tried High Key and High Contrast and both can help, to a point, but I feel there is something missing. I'm not too worried about the colour tones just yet as I can likely get them to look correct after I get the *sparkle* that the image seems to be missing.

    I can blend multiple treatments in PP if I can't get what is needed in a single image but I'm not sure I have a solid starting point. I suspect I am reaching for something that is too far away but I want to reach as far as I can and maybe later on I'll figure out how to reach further.

    Your thoughts and suggestions?


    Real Water

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    Re: Real Water

    If you wanted 'real water'; which is the way I prefer to see it, I would have used a faster shutter speed. Even if it meant increasing the Iso to 400.

    At the moment, I find it is in between being totally sharp and, as an alternative, well blurred with a really slow shutter speed.

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    Re: Real Water

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    If you wanted 'real water'; which is the way I prefer to see it, I would have used a faster shutter speed. Even if it meant increasing the Iso to 400.

    At the moment, I find it is in between being totally sharp and, as an alternative, well blurred with a really slow shutter speed.
    Thank you for the feedback Geoff!

    Yes, the shutter speed was 1/10 sec. Not quite the 1/4-1/6 sec that I would use to blur the water or the 1/200 sec I would use to freeze the water. I was hoping that by not going to either extreme that it might look more realistic. When I take time to really watch the water it doesn't look like either extreme to me. Oh well. Another exercise in finding answers to a 'what if' question.

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    Re: Real Water

    I think you'll need to go faster than even 1/10th; normally you can go pretty much as fast as you like, unless you have individual droplets in the shot (they will get frozen at high speeds).

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    Re: Real Water

    Thanks Colin. I was hoping for something in between frozen and blurred.

    I've posted the result of my efforts in the Project 52 thread but I'm still not happy with it.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 6th May 2012 at 12:34 PM.

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    Re: Real Water

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I would like the surface of the water to glisten, but I would also like to be able to see clealy to the bottom where the water is shallow enough. I also want the reflections in the ripples to be sharp and clear as they were when I took the shot. The bubbles on the water surface should also be sharp and clear to the point where you feel you could reach out and touch them.
    Would a Polarizing Filter not help with this?

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    Re: Real Water

    Not sure what you are after but can I suggest you duplicate the image and very slightly blurr one copy, sharpen the other.
    Organise sharp copy on top and erase the area where the water is falling off the upper level. And first of all crop out the bright area top and right side. But as I say I'm not sure what you want :-)

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    Re: Real Water

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyB1975 View Post
    Would a Polarizing Filter not help with this?
    I'll need to try that Andy. Thanks for the suggestion. It was an overcast day and I usually only think of CPL's on bright sunny days. Come to think of it, perhaps a sunny day would work better?

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    Re: Real Water

    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    Not sure what you are after but can I suggest you duplicate the image and very slightly blurr one copy, sharpen the other.
    Organise sharp copy on top and erase the area where the water is falling off the upper level. And first of all crop out the bright area top and right side. But as I say I'm not sure what you want :-)
    Hi jcuknz, yes, I have tried that technique here and the suggested crop but I still feel that the results are lacking something. It may not be possible to capture a still image that looks like, well, a moving one!

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    Re: Real Water

    Getting it too glisten on Pearl Paper is even harder; some I manage some I don't and it is still a mystery why. So hope you can analise it Frank.

    If you have bokeh to start life is a bit easier but this is my general patented technique (joke) and you might be able to adapt or shorten it. Gamma for instance could be just contrast.

    Levels
    Duplicate Color 100% IMPORTANT
    \
    Adjustment PIN Light 100% then auto levels then 11-1.16-244
    /
    Duplicate Luminosity 46%
    Duplicate Color 100% IMPORTANT
    Duplicate Difference 60% (or could be Pin 100%)
    Duplicate Multiply 100% Gauss 100 pixel (30-250 and see what pops)
    Duplicate Screen 100% (to brighten)
    Duplicate Screen 100% (to brighten)
    Base Image

    and for the image; if you have hours you could get this too work, I don't know if it will print and the sun is shining on my monitor anyway.

    I like blown bits by the way

    Real Water

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    Re: Real Water

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    I'll need to try that Andy. Thanks for the suggestion. It was an overcast day and I usually only think of CPL's on bright sunny days. Come to think of it, perhaps a sunny day would work better?
    I don't have much experience using CPL's, but I do use Polarizing Sunglasses for fishing which in theory are doing the same thing. On a sunny day with clear water the Polarized glasses cut out the surface glare and enable me to see in detail straight to the bottom of quite deep water (maybe 5-10ft on the right day). They do work very well on a dull day too but sun is definatly better.

    Cutting off the water glare may help you achieve what you are after??

  12. #12
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    Re: Real Water

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyB1975 View Post
    I don't have much experience using CPL's, but I do use Polarizing Sunglasses for fishing which in theory are doing the same thing. On a sunny day with clear water the Polarized glasses cut out the surface glare and enable me to see in detail straight to the bottom of quite deep water (maybe 5-10ft on the right day). They do work very well on a dull day too but sun is definatly better.

    Cutting off the water glare may help you achieve what you are after??
    Seeing clearly to the bottom and glisten seem to be mutually exclusive and if you use a polorizer, all reflected light is polorized unless it is reflected off a metal surface for instance and should reduce the glisten.

    I thought it was the blinding reflections that dance with the flow that cause the glitter and obviously it isn't going to happen in a photograph; but what you can do is stir a memory of experience of glistening.

    A faster speed and polorizer set badly to allow some reflections, dof to allow some bokeh and a high gradient from black to white looks like the way to go.

    I don't use a polorizer but usually use a faster speed, low dof and exposure on the brightest spot 2 ev over, in reality I meter 1+2/3 because of 7% averaging.

    I don't use the criteria such as see to the bottom but this printed fine and gives the illusion of glisten.

    Real Water

  13. #13
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    Re: Real Water

    Nice image Steve. As you point out, it may be only the illusion of glisten that is possible. Like the rendition of gold leaf in an image, there is no one colour that is gold but rather a combination of colours that gives the gold look.

    Being able to see the glisten and reflection on the surface of the water and still see the bottom clearly may be a focusing combination that just can't be 'stacked' in an image.

    I tried and failed to get the reflective surface of a marble countertop where you could see the distant reflection, dust on the surface, and the marble pattern all at the same time. I could capture either the near or far focused objects, but not both.

    I still wonder if there might be a way to do it...

    If so, I'm sure that someone would cry "foul, that isn't what a two-dimensional photo should look like"! LOL!

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