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Thread: Waterfall Speeds

  1. #1

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    Patrik

    Waterfall Speeds

    Inspired by a great composition of a two speed waterfall here on CiC and tested it on a small fall at Storforsen, northern Sweden. Taking the same photo with two different shutter speeds, is any one better than the other from a viewer's point of view ? CiC welcome.

    Cheers

    Waterfall Speeds

    Waterfall Speeds

  2. #2

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    Re: Waterfall Speeds

    The issue you are asking about is highly subjective; there is no right, wrong, better or worse shutter speed for a waterfall. To demonstrate my point, I would prefer a shutter speed for this particular waterfall that stops the action entirely. Neither of your images was taken with a shutter speed that does that.

    To change the topic, it's really a shame that the foreground tree limbs are obscuring so much of the waterfall, though you did a reasonably good job of blurring them. I appreciate that it might not have been possible to photograph the waterfall from a different angle without putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

  3. #3

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    Re: Waterfall Speeds

    for me i like to see them one way or another, either slow and flowing or sharp and crisp, the two sorts of effect here and for me a bit off putting and distracting from a otherwise nice shot, but its all about preference really.

  4. #4

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    Re: Waterfall Speeds

    Thanks Mike and Mark. I just wanted to play around with these possibilities, don't know myself if any of them have photographic value but it's nice to have other peoples views
    Patrik

  5. #5
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    Re: Waterfall Speeds

    It is great to get out and experiment with some new techniques Patrik!

    I think in these examples, the water appears to either speed up or slow down. Given that the angle of fall doesn't change much, I would expect that it would be a fast look or a slow look, depending upon what you are trying to achieve. In some of my experiments I used the fast (blurred) water on the steep part of the falls and the slow (sharp) part on the shallow part of the falls.

    In one post, Project 52 by Frank Miller Paul suggested using the "Lighten Blending Mode" to add sparkle to the falls and that seemed to work very well.

    I'm looking forward to following how you progress with this experiment as there is likely a lot more we can all learn about making waterfalls look more realistic!

  6. #6

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    Re: Waterfall Speeds

    Thanks for your valuable input Frank. Personally I'm not sure I want these pics realistic but rather conveying a different feel. Take the two waterfall pics below. The one with the faster 1/350sec is surely more realistic but the slower one can convey much stronger or wilder forces at play. Suppose we all evaluate photos with different eyes ?

    Waterfall Speeds

    Waterfall Speeds

  7. #7

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    Graham Heron

    Re: Waterfall Speeds

    Hi Pat,
    You mentioned the second pic above as 'surely more realistic'. Personally my eye doesn't see that fast and so I never see a waterfall like that. Does anyone know how fast 'the eye' can see? (Including the brain processing). So how fast can something happen and we can see it happen as distinct 'frames'? Video operates typically at 24 fps or more and the eye typically sees sequential frames as being continuous. That means exposure is around 1/50s or greater. For an image to be taken at 1/350 would suggest that it is faster than the eye can see, but I seek confirmation in this.

    Assuming that is the case, most images are not 'realistic' pictures but a representative image. Now comes our own individual input, longer exposures, shorter exposures to create our own image.

    On top of that, as you have stated above, the viewer ALSO interprets the image with their own eyes and experiences.
    There are critics out there who's job is to tell us what we are meant to be seeing. I ignore them and experience my own way.

    Personally, the first image seems to be around 1/10s (based on the movement of the water droplets above the top edge of the falls). I would prefer to see the same image with a much longer exposure, several seconds long.

    Anyway, middle of the day, overcast, off to the local fish market for some image creation and some lunch.
    Graham

  8. #8

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    Re: Waterfall Speeds

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamH View Post
    off to the local fish market for some image creation and some lunch.
    Graham
    It's not nice to brag.

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