1st Attempt at "Softening" Water

Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
850
Location
Colorado
Took a hike in El Dorado Canyon this morning. I've been wanting to try this technique, so today was my first. Colorado has record snow pack, so right now our rivers and creeks are running high and fast. Please let me know how I've done.
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Rob Zijlstra

A Koffie Drinker
Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
999
Location
Netherlands
Pancho, I think the water is good. Maybe a bit less milky would be better, but that's personal taste.
What I don't like is the sharpness. The longer I look at the photo, the more it troubles me. The rocks in the FG are sharp, but the trees are not. I think you did what happens to me often:frown:: long shutter time ( for the water) and the wind moves the leave a bit=> no sharpness there. The only solution I think is that you have to wait, in this case not for the light:smile: but for a time without wind.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,495
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Did you use a tripod? I agree about the trees being soft, perhaps there's wind when you took the shot, but even the rocks are a little soft. The image is also a bit on the warm side and the water has blown highlights, but overall composition is good.

If I may offer some advice.........
- Always use a tripod
- Use your camera's timer or a remote shutter release
- Stop down from f/8 through f/13 but try not to exceed that to avoid diffraction
- Keeping the above f-stop in mind, find a focus that is somewhat close to you - on that scene, I would focus on a somewhat nearby rock and stop down to f/11 or so - this will give you a good DOF in front of the focal plane (your foreground) and also a good DOF behind that (your background). If you simply focus at infinity, it is possible that your foreground elements will not be very sharp.
- choose the proper light - slightly dim/cloudy light is perfect for this since you won't have to resort to an ND filter
- if you have no choice and have to shoot on bright daylight, use an ND and cover the viewfinder
- shoot RAW (14-bit if possible) so you can pull the shadows and tone down the highlights easily
- for scenes with bright white water, I would underexpose 1-2 full stops so you don't blow out the water and just pull the shadows in post, sometimes I even create separate layers for the foreground so I can control them separately.
- Don't forget to apply USM for extra 'pop'

Try some of these when you go back and re-shoot. I'm not an expert but I do like to try different techniques, and this is something that I'm currently working on myself. Have fun!
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
850
Location
Colorado
Thank you for all the tips. I will definitely have to apply these when I go back out. I used a tripod, but I was still rushing when I took this photo as it was starting to rain a little and I wasn't prepared for the elements. Thanks again, I've learned quite a bit.
 

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