Photography Ramble - jump in!

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CJWilkes's picture
Joined: 01/04/09
Posts: 880
Photography Ramble - jump in!

So as I am looking at the COTW's this thought stands out in my mind.

Category = composition. When you are looking at what is before you and before you push the shutter button What is it you are looking to capture? How can you capture it in a way that everyone can see what it is that is so awe inspiring that it made you want to take a picture of it.

When I go around and look at what is happening in life it almost looks like frames or pictures before me. My mind thinks "Oh that would make an awesome image!" I compose it before it ever ends up in my camera. Now - how do I do it though? Well, for me - I simply try to convey or take the image that most stands out. So (as an example our latest water project) when thinking of h2o there are so many things we can do with water - but what makes the water stand out in the image.

If you look at Amber's image - it is AMAZING to the 10th degree! I love it for several reasons. 1- the close up of the water droplets and clarity! 2- the way water can reflect and does. 3- the color vibrancy. When you look at her image there is no doubt that is about the WATER & Reflections. Very well executed!

With a waterfall you can also show some awesome images by choosing your camera settings carefully. A waterfall can look smooth - wistful - dreamy or it can look choppy and interesting all by your settings alone. I like both looks but tend to take the more detailed road. Here are my examples - feel free to share yours too:


Settings:

Camera Nikon D80
Exposure 0.003 sec (1/400)
Aperture f/3.0
Focal Length 60 mm
ISO Speed 160


Settings:

Camera Nikon D80
Exposure 0.002 sec (1/640)
Aperture f/2.8
Focal Length 60 mm
ISO Speed 160


Settings:

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 1/4000 sec
Aperture f/4.0
Focal Length 160 mm
ISO Speed 320

Some were as fast as 1/8000 sec.

You can go from smooth to the appearance of moving water just with settings. These are not macro images except maybe the first. But you can see how you can create a different look just by how you set to portray the "water".

Now of coarse I have subjects included and they are the primary or secondary of the images. You can use your surroundings to "frame" your subject and enhance them OR you can use them like I did with my daughter - to bring a different perspective to a normal subject often shot.

Ok... thanks for the long ramble. Now share your examples and feel free to ramble!

(PLEASE INCLUDE SETTINGS)

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

Oh this is fun... I love seeing all the different applications of water. I'm still working on looking at the world and seeing "images"... It's not necessarily something that comes naturally to me (I wish!), but I do believe that I can learn.

I'll have to look back through some of my pictures and see if I can find any decent ones. I haven't done a lot with water, so not sure if I'll find much. For now, here's a snapshot from my DS's first birthday. I've always liked the way it "froze" the water sprinkles that they were playing in.

50mm
ISO 100
f/2.5 (in hindsight, I would like to see this more closed up to see how this would look if my DS and MIL were more in focus)
ss 1/1600

CJWilkes's picture
Joined: 01/04/09
Posts: 880

It is so fun seeing the individual drops!

I think watching your son mesmerized by the drops makes it that much stronger of an image. Smile

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2336

I guess when it comes to water, for me it depends on what I'm shooting. I find waterfalls very serene and thus I like to suggest serenity and calmness to those viewing my images of waterfalls -- and serenity and calmness come across better to me in the cotton-candy effect of water achieved by using a slow shutter speed.

Showing a different one from the COTW just for variety -- ISO 80, SS 0.4 seconds, f/8.0

But for other things, I love the idea of individual drops. Last summer I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get a perfect sprinkler shot -- the sparkle of water in summer light, the crystal drops cooling the skin, etc. I really did NOT achieve that goal, but here's a shot where I at least got a bit more clarity in the water. This summer I will do much better, as last summer I didn't have a clue what I was doing and used far too low of an ISO in our shady yard to get a high enough SS to achieve the effect I wanted.

ISO 100, SS 1/125, f/3.2

(There are so many things wrong with that photo, I'm just using it as an example of a time when I wanted to isolate the water instead of making it a soft blur.)

I have seen some wonderful shots of, for example, a piece of fruit dropped into water and the clarity of the splash -- it suggests freshness, somehow, and I'd love to try that kind of thing too.

ETA: I can't believe I forgot to say at the outset of this post that your images are so beautiful, Cindy, and inspiring. And it's clear from what you've written WHY you are able to achieve images like that, the way you think about your art and what you what to express through your photos.

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

I do love a good soft-looking waterfall! I've also seen pictures that I love of big, strong waterfalls shot with a faster SS, so the water is more crisp... I like that look with that type of waterfall (like some in Yellowstone, places like that) because it seems to convey the strength and power of it. It just seems to give a visual of just HOW MUCH water is flowing through there. Then I like the the "cotton candy" look with the more flowy, whimsical-looking waterfalls, like if your picture (which I love BTW!).

EL2
EL2's picture
Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 1665

Here is one of a waterfall I took awhile back. This water fall is very far away and I was not able to get that dreamy wispy feel to it. But I like how the composition focused solely on the water falling. The leaves/vegetation on the side framed it pretty well.

ISO 100, f4, SS1/500

I love how this picture turned out. Although you can barely see the person to the right of the picture. I looked at it and visualize how he was trying to go against the waves or thinking on how to take on that wave.

f5.6, ISO 100, SS 1/800

TracyF's picture
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2336

"EL2" wrote:

I love how this picture turned out. Although you can barely see the person to the right of the picture. I looked at it and visualize how he was trying to go against the waves or thinking on how to take on that wave.

f5.6, ISO 100, SS 1/800

I love the image of crisp water breaking on shore. A friend of mine just did a spectacular photo of a huge wave breaking against a rock, and you could see such awesome detail in the spray.

I also agree that sharp detail in really powerful waterfalls works well to suggest the power of the flowing water.

CJWilkes's picture
Joined: 01/04/09
Posts: 880

El - I love that last image. What if you did a bit of a vignette to it to highlight your subject and bring the focus in some?

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

For waterfalls, I like to see the smooth and flow look. But, for the sunrise photos at the beach last October I chose to catch the waves as they crashed on the rocks and pillars. This caught the reflection and color of the sunrise. This is still one of my favorites...

Camera Canon EOS 50D
Exposure 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture f/11.0
Focal Length 70 mm (70-200 f4)
ISO Speed 100

2010-10-17 09

Here's one of my water drop shots that shows the smoothness and crystal like properties of water...

Camera Canon EOS 50D
Exposure 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture f/7.1
Focal Length 30 mm (30mm 1.4)
ISO Speed 100

2011-02-04 04

I'm headed back to the Outer Banks this weekend and hope to get some more sunrise shots at the beach Smile I'm REALLY excited to do some sunrise silhouettes.

CJWilkes's picture
Joined: 01/04/09
Posts: 880

Those 2 are beautiful. Could you share the settings? Love the water drop. So cool!

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

I love the water drop too. How do you get it at just the right time? Do you set it on continuous mode to snap multiple shots to catch it with the best timing? Or are you just that good? Hahaha... I think it would take me forever to get it right.

Jeffininer's picture
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

"CJWilkes" wrote:

Those 2 are beautiful. Could you share the settings? Love the water drop. So cool!

Sorry about that, settings added!

"marymoonu" wrote:

I love the water drop too. How do you get it at just the right time? Do you set it on continuous mode to snap multiple shots to catch it with the best timing? Or are you just that good? Hahaha... I think it would take me forever to get it right.

I wrote all about how I did this on this thread. (hope you don't mind I didn't type it all out again Smile )

Essentially, I finally got it down to timing. I'd snap a few shots right as the water dropped. The set-up in the thread above was done in about 5 minutes and I did finally get the hang of timing and the use of color. I'll have to try this out again soon!

Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621

I love this thread!!! We just took DS to a little splash fountain a few days ago but I had problems getting focus of him. I did get a few shots that I (as mommy) love, but want to keep practicing to get the focus nailed.

marymoonu's picture
Joined: 03/15/08
Posts: 2183

"Jeffininer" wrote:

I wrote all about how I did this on this thread. (hope you don't mind I didn't type it all out again Smile )

Essentially, I finally got it down to timing. I'd snap a few shots right as the water dropped. The set-up in the thread above was done in about 5 minutes and I did finally get the hang of timing and the use of color. I'll have to try this out again soon!

TFS, that's so cool! I'd love to try it sometime. It would be so fun to play with different colors as the background. Smile