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Gooseberry Falls
  
 
gregfixit
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Gooseberry Falls


I am kind of a trend follower.
Took these last month at Gooseberry Falls near the North Shore of Lake Superior.
I think I took a hundred photos and these are the two I liked the most. Which one is better?
C&C welcome but I am also looking for some general rules/guidelines when capturing waterfalls.
Both of these were taken with the smallest possible aperture and my ISO @ 100. What more can I do to slow the shutter? Do I want to slow the shutter?
(Sorry for the lack of EXIF, I pulled these from my Facebook page)
I had a lot of fun climbing around on the rocks trying to get a good angle.
Thanks
Greg





Upper Falls







Middle Falls




Oct 31, 2013 at 04:48 PM
beavens
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Gooseberry Falls


Greg, score yourself a ND filter!

As far as the images go, I definitely like the first better. The water came out in a more interesting fashion and the contrast between the falls and foliage really puts the emphasis on your subject.

The second feels a little busy and as if there is too much waterfall in my face.

Cheers,

Jeff



Oct 31, 2013 at 05:01 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Gooseberry Falls


+1 @ Jeff on all points. Additionally, I might look at haircut for the first one, cropping just under the blue sky.

As a general aspect of motion blur, the slower the shutter the more the motion blur. But it is also distance/magnification related, so your relative distance to the motion (and orientation) and focal length can be components as well ... i.e. closer = more blur (comp/framing notwithstanding).

ND filters (or polarizing filters) can reduce the amount of light as well, to warrant a slower shutter speed. The choice at how much blur is always a subjective one from flowing milky white to frozen droplets, so only you can answer the question @ "Do I want to slow the shutter?"

A couple of tools that you may have not thought about are your watch and a compass (metaphoric or literal). Orientation to the sky, relative to the sun's position throughout the time of day can impact your lighting from specular to soft, as well as the amount of light.

Classicly, overcast days are often cited as good days for waterfalls, for the even lighting and lower illumination levels. But if you pay attention to the orientation of the fall vs. the open sky @ time of day, you can get a somewhat reduced illumination level there too (just have to adjust for WB @ time of day/orientation) that will allow for slower shutters.



Oct 31, 2013 at 05:07 PM
beavens
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Gooseberry Falls


Time of day can be huge on those sunny days. I struggled with a few different waterfall sites because the lighting would just not cooperate.


Oct 31, 2013 at 05:12 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Gooseberry Falls


It's quite a challenge to make a waterfall image that goes beyond a record shot and isn't mundane. Many try. Few succeed.


Oct 31, 2013 at 06:49 PM
beanpkk
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Gooseberry Falls


I'm going to offer a contrasting opinion and say I like #2 better. The only minor problem with it is the cut off falls on the left. I like the triple/quadruple falls look, the rock in the center, and the horizontal aspect. I also think the short shutter speed (dropletted water vs blurred) really enhances this one. And finally, #2 seems less of a traditional falls view than the first. When I look at #2 I feel the power of the water, where in #1 I do not.

My $0.02.

Keith



Oct 31, 2013 at 11:03 PM
gregfixit
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Gooseberry Falls


AuntiPode wrote:
It's quite a challenge to make a waterfall image that goes beyond a record shot and isn't mundane. Many try. Few succeed.

+1
For the number of shots I took that day nothing is worth printing big and putting on the wall. (I even went behind one of the falls to try and get an interesting shot!)

Thanks to everyone for the tips. My two biggest takeaways are...
I need an ND filter. (And I have to carry my polarizing filter with me)
I need to think about the time-of-day and/or the weather forecast.

I love seeing the waterfalls that others have posted.
Greg



Nov 01, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Jglaser757
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Gooseberry Falls


Yes, definitely an ND filter and going when you don't see many dark shadows. I would recommend about .5 sec for the shutter speed..I find that when I'm shooting at around that speed , I get enough motion in the water. When you go back there , be careful of out of focus branches in the foreground,,I would crop tighter on the first image also so that the framing doesn't compete as much. To me the first one should be a vertical cropped also.


Nov 01, 2013 at 11:32 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Gooseberry Falls


I believe of all the waterfall piccies I've made over the years, there's maybe one I like. It's a subject that's hard to raise above the ordinary.


Nov 01, 2013 at 08:26 PM
Oregon Gal
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Gooseberry Falls


Edited. Won't let me delete message


Edited on Nov 01, 2013 at 10:14 PM · View previous versions



Nov 01, 2013 at 10:11 PM
 

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Oregon Gal
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Gooseberry Falls


Jglaser757 wrote:
Yes, definitely an ND filter and going when you don't see many dark shadows. I would recommend about .5 sec for the shutter speed..I find that when I'm shooting at around that speed , I get enough motion in the water. When you go back there , be careful of out of focus branches in the foreground,,I would crop tighter on the first image also so that the framing doesn't compete as much. To me the first one should be a vertical cropped also.


The length of the exposure is dependent on the speed of the water and I agree that .5 up to maybe 3 seconds, depends on how dark the ND filter is. The longer the exposure the more chance of overexposing the water / highlights. Always a good idea to take multiple shots at different exposures so you can blend in overexposed areas. This can be done by stopping down the lens and adjusting time, exposing specifically for the water. Experiment and have fun



Nov 01, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Jglaser757
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Gooseberry Falls


Oregon Gal wrote:
The length of the exposure is dependent on the speed of the water and I agree that .5 up to maybe 3 seconds, depends on how dark the ND filter is. The longer the exposure the more chance of overexposing the water / highlights. Always a good idea to take multiple shots at different exposures so you can blend in overexposed areas. This can be done by stopping down the lens and adjusting time, exposing specifically for the water. Experiment and have fun



True,,experimenting with the shutter speed is great,, but too long an exposure will lead to oatmeal type flow and lack of detail in the water, in my experience. Especially with water moving that fast in the falls.IMHO



Nov 08, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Smousefam5
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Gooseberry Falls


I too like #2 better. I think cutting off the left diminished the impact for me, though.


Mar 01, 2014 at 10:38 AM
beanpkk
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Gooseberry Falls


Using an ND filter will allow you to slow the shutter, which allows you to blur the water. But as someone else said water blur is a matter of taste. Many here want the water not to look like water but to look like cotton mush, or fog. I find your frozen-droplet approach refreshing! It makes the water look cool and powerful. If you blur it you'll undo that effect.

I have read that as a rule of thumb large falls want short shutters to emphasize their power, and small falls want short ones to bring an element of peace and quiet into the image.

Try an ND filter if you like, but seek your own position on how much to blur the water.

As far as a polarizer is concerned, I think you can't go wrong using one. It brings out the color by reducing some of the reflections.

Lastly, keep at the waterfall efforts -- they're tough but interesting subjects to photograph. I look forward to seeing some more!
keith



Mar 02, 2014 at 10:27 PM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Gooseberry Falls


Here's one of my waterfalls I don't dislike:







Mar 03, 2014 at 01:14 AM
gregfixit
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Gooseberry Falls


Thanks Smousefam5 and Keith for the comments. And thank you Karen for sharing your waterfall. I like it! I have some waterfall pictures from northern New Hampshire I took last summer. I may try to edit and post those just for fun.
Thanks
Greg



Mar 03, 2014 at 05:16 PM
beanpkk
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Gooseberry Falls


Greg,

I too have lots from the White Mtns of NH and would love to see some of yours.

keith



Mar 04, 2014 at 02:25 AM
JohnBrose
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Gooseberry Falls


Gooseberry is a difficult falls to photograph. Especially with so many people walking around as is usually the case. I try to focus on smaller areas of the falls or walk down stream a bit. One of my favorites I've taken of the area is actually looking down stream with some puddles in the rock in the foreground. I tend to shoot falls with shutter speeds around 1/2 to 4 seconds, but everyone has different tastes. This is also difficult at this spot since it is facing South and is usually in full sun, then you have the highway directly over the top of the falls. As for your shots, I prefer the 2nd one.


Mar 04, 2014 at 02:45 AM
AuntiPode
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Gooseberry Falls


One tip for sites with a few unwanted tourists: Shoot several images from a tripod and in P.P. replace each tourist with a section of a non-tourist version. (This assumes tourists don't stay in one spot so long the sun changes too much.)


Mar 04, 2014 at 03:18 AM
Lanned
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Gooseberry Falls


Very well framed. Would love to see more of nature pictures


Mar 04, 2014 at 01:18 PM
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