August 4, 2010

Moving Water Photo…how slow to go?

BW slow moving water

I was out at sunrise at one of my favorite Sierra rock water locations and the water was moving very fast. My camera was set up on the tripod and favorite images were being created. The question I have been asked many times  is what shutter speed to use on moving water and my answer is how do you want the water to look? The choices are tack sharp with water drops in the air stopped in motion, wavy unreal ribbons of smooth white velvet or something in between? In most of my images I usually prefer the long exposure smooth look. To achieve this look the exposures are between 5 seconds and 30 seconds depending on how fast the water is moving. I use one or two three stop neutral density filters to help the camera get to these exposures and sometimes I even add a polarizer to made the exposure even longer. To make your job easier shoot on cloudy days or before the sun rises or sets as the sun on the water makes it very difficult to get to those long exposures in addition can add contrast problems into your images. I have included a few images as examples.

Now go make some images!


Color slow water - 2 seconds

Color fast water 1/125 second

August 1, 2010

New thoughts on Browsing… Lightroom 3

Several months ago I wrote that my favorite browser was Breeze Browser because of its speed and ease of use and it still is. But I have made a change and here is the story. For the last several computers I have been moving my images from computer to computer and backing up on two USB drives. My current computer has a 750Gb hard drive and is out of room for any more images. In addition my USB drives were only 1TB and not full but getting there so I went out and bought two new 2Tb drives at an amazingly low price and moved all of my images onto them. With this change and my recent version upgrade to Lightroom 3 I felt the time had come to take the plunge and move into using the Big Boy Browser Software. Well the results have been great! I created a new catalog of all of my images on the USB drive and found the possibilities of sorting, ranking and finding images seems to be endless. In addition the speed of using the catalog is very fast. The retrieving the high rez images is now a little slower since it is on an USB drive instead of my computer hard drive but still fast enough. In addition I now have a system to move forward with for another couple of years with room to grow. I have not been editing or printing yet with Lightroom but that is next. Currently I am using PS CS5 for editing and have found this upgrade also to be worthwhile.   How things have changed since I used to store my 8×10 sheet film in a file cabinet with little numbers on each sheet. All was so simple then…

Best wishes,