Saturday, March 27, 2010
Photographing waterfalls & moving water
These are some of my first photos with the Canon 70-200 f/4 IS L lens that I recently picked up. I finally traded in the f/2.8 version to save considerable weight and space in my camera pack. Since I'm almost always shooting on a tripod, the faster f/2.8 lens isn't really necessary. And the f/4 lens is reputedly sharper. Sounds good to me!
It's a breeze to shoot blurred water scenes like this. Compose your scene, use a tripod and slow the shutter speed down to 1/15s or slower. Really simple, eh! There are many ways to achieve a slow shutter speed: use a small aperture (which I like for the depth-of-field anyway), set your ISO speed lower, shoot in low light or use an ND filter (I have the Singh-Ray Vari- N-Duo). Of course, a tripod is needed to keep everything steady during the slow exposure. And be sure to check the histogram to make sure the white water is not blown out.
For this series of photos, all I had to do was use low ISO, dial in a small aperture... and voila, perfect shutter speeds for blurred water. I shot these with a Canon EOS 5D mark II, EF 70-200 f/4 L lens at ISO 100; Exposure was 1/4s at f/32.