HDR of a water fall

Started Apr 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
TomFoxFire
Junior MemberPosts: 42
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Re: HDR of a water fall
In reply to hzmeyer, Apr 28, 2012
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Waterfalls are a favorite of mine. To get it right normally requires at least two exposures. The first image expose for the water. Remember that falling water is nearly 95 percent reflective. That is nearly as much as a mirror. The second exposure light for the darkest part of the scene. I use software (PSE 10) to combine the images.

A couple of tips I have found useful.

Do not focus on the waterfall itself. Instead try to focus on something slightly in front of it, a rock for example. This will blur the falls slightly. You want to foreground in focus to give a sense of depth to the image.

Always use a tripod, especially since you will be taking multiple exposures. A remote release helps too, if you have one.

Choose a cloudy or overcast day. Deep shade works too. A water fall is so reflective that it throws off exposures nearly every time. It is worse in sunlight.

I think large, powerful falls look best when the shutter speed is fast enough to capture the water moving. Small falls seem to look better when the shutter speed is slow to give the water that silky, milk like appearance. I find that 4 to 5 seconds is long enough.

Water falls are a bit like people, they are best photographed in 3/4 view. Few of us look our best straight on. check your driver license photo to see what I mean.

Good luck and keep it up.

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