Monday, October 18, 2010

Photos: Ghostly Stream

I spent just about all day yesterday in Harriman State Park, taking pictures of fall foliage. While I got a number of nice foliage shots (some of which I might post here), my best shot of the day (IMHO) was of a stream. Here's the pic:

Canon XSi, 100mm macro lens, 30 seconds, f/32

As you might imagine, the stream did not really look like that. It was simply water flowing down and around the rocks. So, how did I get the water to look like that? Did I use some Photoshop magic? No, I didn't (as a matter of fact, I don't even own Photoshop).

The trick to taking "ghostly water" shots like that is to use a long exposure. If you look under the picture, you'll see that for this shot, I left the shutter open for 30 seconds. That's quite a bit of time. Because the water was flowing at a nice pace (had it been flowing faster, the water would have looked even more "ghostly") leaving the shutter open for so long allowed me to capture much of the movement, resulting in the image you see.

Of course, it's important to remember that if you're going to leave the shutter open for that long, there are two things you MUST do:

1. Use a tripod. I don't care if you're the best surgeon in the world -- no one can hold their hands still for 10 seconds, let along 30. You absolutely must use a tripod to keep your camera still while the shutter is open.

2. Change the f/stop on your camera. I stopped the camera all the way down to f/32 -- the smallest aperture I could get with the lens I used. If you don't do this, your entire picture will be completely overexposed.

3. Although not a must, a filter would also help to reduce the amount of light coming into your camera. This will allow you to keep the shutter open longer.

As always, I welcome all comments, critiques and criticisms.

The Wolf


First Responder said...

Your pants are too short.

smb said...

that's an amazing picture

BrooklynWolf said...

Thank you, smb.

The Wolf

Mordechai Y. Scher said...

Don't you have a filter on all the time? I used to do a lot of 35mm SLR photos while hiking and climbing. Keeping a filter on was cheap protection for the lens when taking an inadvertent swing against a rock face.

Ariella's blog said...

nice, I love nature scenes

Ezzie said...

Cool. Just in time for Halloween!

Ari said...

I like.

Manny said...

What about a new post already?